[UPDATE: 26 March] Member of Parliament Alex Yam posted on Facebook an anecdote of how the black ribbon motif came about.

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Tribute to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in black ribbon motif

Following Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s demise, a black ribbon motif with Mr. Lee’s likeness has been circulating widely on social media. Many Singaporeans have since changed their Facebook display picture to the black ribbon motif and its other iterations to express their gratitude towards the man.

People’s Action Party (PAP) politicians including Chan Chun Sing, Grace Fu, Lawrence Wong, and Baey Yam Keng were among the first to change their display pictures.


The motif is a black ribbon encompassing the side profile of Mr. Lee, created by the PAP to mourn their founding secretary-general’s death. The design is solemn and dignified, befitting for our nation’s founding Prime Minister.

According to Wikipedia,

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A spokesperson from the PAP HQ added:

(It is) also to serve as a mark of respect for his achievements and unwavering determination to transform Singapore from a Third World country to the metropolis that it is today. We hope more Singaporeans would kindly share the same thoughts as us and post this picture as their social media profile.

She also said that PAP hoped the public would “use this image fittingly and in a dignified manner, befitting Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s status”.

Not the first appearance of the black ribbon

On the day of Mr. Lee’s departure, Google Singapore uploaded a black ribbon on its homepage.


However, this is not the first time a black ribbon has appeared on Google. Its other appearances were made during…

  • 9/11, out of respect and sympathy for victims in the September 11 attack
  • 7 July 2005 London bombings
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Flight MH17
  • Charlie Hebdo shooting

… and most recently, of course, to mourn the death of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. #RIPLKY

Featured image via Facebook
With reference to TODAY Online, Wikipedia