Yellow Ribbon

10.10.2012 @ The American Folklife Center

During the last decade, no single form of expression documented in the Archive of Folk Culture has stimulated more letters, more phone calls, more in-person inquiries than the yellow ribbon. The questions began in 1981 when the Library of Congress received a blizzard of inquiries, particularly from the news media, about the history of yellow ribbons then being displayed everywhere in America in support of Americans being held hostage in Iran. The basic question that reporters had in mind was how the symbol came into being. Many callers had ideas of their own on the subject; some had interviewed the authors of relevant popular songs; others had spoken to wives of hostages in Iran in 1980-81. Still others had talked to historians of the Civil War.




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