May 25, 2017
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Ribbons, worn diagonally from a student’s right shoulder and fastened on the left at the waist to allow the ends to fall free to skirt length, have long been marks of distinction in Sacred Heart schools. Students in the third and fourth years of high school, classes that were traditionally termed Third and Fourth Academics, wore blue ribbons, light blue for boarders and dark blue for day students, while those in the first and second years (First and Second Academics) wore green. The blue and green ribbons were awarded by a vote of the students, ratified by the religious, in recognition of good conduct, good spirit, helpful influence, and leadership. Students in the middle school grades wore narrow green ribbons. In the lower grades, students wore pink ribbons, with red ribbons reserved for the first and second grades. Literary portraits of life in schools of the Sacred Heart, like Mary McCarthy’s Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood, usually mention the wearing of ribbons as a distinctive feature of the schools. Although still in use in several Sacred Heart Schools, ribbons are no longer worn everywhere.