Music - Tony Orlando and Dawn "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree"
Order of the Yellow Garter
"Give me the greatness of heart to see,
Displaying a yellow ribbon, scarf, or garter to signify that family members are awaiting the return of a loved one originated well before musician Tony Orlando sang the popular "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree" in the 1970's.
Around the late 1700's & early 1800's, wives, girlfriends and fiancées of the Cav Troopers who protected the wagon trains headed west, would often tie a yellow scarf or ribbon around their hat, arm, or parasol. This was to show that they anxiously awaited the return of "their soldiers." Some would tie the scarf or ribbon to their purse, or wear yellow ribbons in their hair to show support.
The 1949 movie with John Wayne, "She Wore a
Yellow Ribbon," is a classic example of this well-known practice.
Cavalry tradition has it that when a new wife came to her first Hail and Farewell she was welcomed into the "Order of the Garter" by the most junior officer or non-commissioned officer. This Trooper would welcome each wife by placing a yellow garter on her leg and a kiss on her cheek for good luck at her new post. The wife was encouraged to wear her "yellow garter" to all Cavalry functions or when her Trooper was deployed.
Today, some Cavalry units have replaced this tradition with the giving of yellow roses.
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