Red Ribbon since 2 June 1991
without names
The Ribbon Project, better known today, simply as the Red Ribbon, was created by the New York-based Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in 1991.Through a series of meetings in April and May of 1991, and using the yellow ribbons as inspiration, they created an icon to show solidarity with and compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers.
The color red was chosen for its "connection to blood and the idea of passion - not only anger, but love, like a valentine." The ribbon format was selected in part because it was easy to recreate and wear. Red ribbons were often created during "ribbon bees," gatherings of friends and supporters fashioning ribbons and pins to be passed out at local and high-profile events.
Visual AIDS partnered with Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS in June 1991 to adorn guests and presenters at the 45th annual Tony Awards which is often considered the public launch of the symbol.
The ribbon has never been copyrighted in the United States, to allow it to be worn and used widely as a symbol in the fight against AIDS. In creating the Ribbon Project, the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus believed it was important to:
1. Remain anonymous as individuals and to credit the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus as a whole.
2. Keep the image copyright free.
3. Use the Red Ribbon as a consciousness-raising symbol, not as a commercial tool.
The Red Ribbon is represented in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art and featured in the exhibition "Humble Masterpieces."
The Red Ribbon has been used by many AIDS service organizations for its universal recognition and continues to be a powerful force in the fight to increase public awareness of HIV/AIDS and in the lobbying efforts to increase funding for AIDS services and research.

Visual AIDS