Three Yellow Ribbons Round Tree Illustration

illustration tree with yellow ribbons
What! She’s making yet another tree illustration! Again? What this time …

Here’s the back story … Tony Orlando, who popularized the song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, visited Israel. He was encouraged to do something in support of families of the three kidnapped teens. He visited the families, and he asked the people of America to tie three yellow ribbons in support of the teens.

A friend in our area has started a little campaign selling yellow ribbons, with the money going back to Israel to support the families and soldiers searching for the teens. I confess I still haven’t gotten the ribbons, but I did write this post.

So what is the history of the yellow ribbon? There is a great article by Gerald E. Parsons on How the Yellow Ribbon Became a National Folk Symbol. It seems the yellow ribbons started getting used as a symbol in the early 1980’s in support of the hostages in Iran. Parsons writes: “Ultimately, the thing that makes the yellow ribbon a genuinely traditional symbol is neither its age nor its putative association with the American Civil War, but rather its capacity to take on new meanings, to fit new needs and, in a word, to evolve.”

On a related topic, the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurBoys was inspired by #BringBackOurGirls. There are actually, unfortunately, similarities between those kidnappings.

The names of the boys are Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. Hashtag: #EyalGiladNaftali
The boys are close in age to my own teenage sons.

three yellow ribbons on tree
Three yellow ribbons spotted on a tree in Highland Park, New Jersey

21 thoughts on “Three Yellow Ribbons Round Tree Illustration

  • Thank you for this post. I knew about the Tony Orlando story behind the yellow ribbon. I did not know he visited Israel and the families of the three boys. How heartwarming to learn this.

    I love your artwork, and the meaning behind it.

    Thank you, once again, Leora.

  • Lorri, sometimes (often?) I think I have a direction for this blog, and I get pulled by something else. Last night I started doing a tutorial on how to make a bow … I ended up decorating a virtual tree with three yellow ribbons.

    As always, Lorri, I appreciate your reading, your kind words, and your thoughtful comments.

  • I totally understand the issue with the blog direction. I have the same situation.

    I love your virtual tree. May I use it on my blog in my sidebar (linked of course, back to you)? It is a humble reminder of current events regarding “Our Boys”.

    • Lorri, yes, you can use my virtual tree! It has a fair amount of white space around it … feel free to crop out the white space or ask me to send you a cropped version.

      • Thank you, Leora. I have a post set to go regarding your lovely illustration. It will post on June 26th.

    • I agree about kidnapping children – given that a few years ago children were blown up in buses and in pizza parlors, this kidnapping does not surprise me. There were many foiled attempts before this one.

    • Batya, totally agree – we must comfort ourselves as well. Not sure what to say, and it may take me a while to post again.

      We also must talk about how to safeguard more lives, but this is not a political blog because I am no political expert by any means. I’m fairly good at history, and I’ve noticed that freeing terrorists does not bring peace.

  • How very sad for the loved ones and so senseless. I’ve always thought the idea of using the yellow ribbons as a reminder and symbol of hope was a lovely one. Although this incident ended in sadness and seems destined to spark even more violence, perhaps the ribbons will help to remind us of an underlying hope for peaceful outcomes.

    • I will forever have the connection of the yellow ribbons with Gilad, Eyal and Naftali. I was thinking of creating black ribbons, but instead, people are lighting three candles in their memories. That is more fitting, from a Jewish perspective. I have several friends who have changed their Facebook profiles for the period of the shiva to three candles.

  • It was such a sad thing. I just don’t understand why we need to kill innocents to make a point or avenge another. It only perpetuates the problem. My heart so goes out to the families. :(

    On another note: I remember tying a yellow ribbon around a tree in our front yard for a young soldier that had been deployed. Happily he did come home. :-)

    • I don’t understand those cultures, either. My own culture does not encourage such things – never killing innocents. The Israeli army (of which some of my family are members) goes out of their way to avoid harming innocents, even at risk of their own lives.

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