The magnets, bearing the slogan “Support Our Troops”, became a symbol of patriotism for millions of US motorists.hmmm, yes, every product does have a shelf life. Of course the other part of the story is how Chinese imports have had a major impact on sales. Luckily there is a new fad, True Love Waits - the latest in chasitity campaigning.
But as support for the war fades, demand for yellow ribbons has collapsed.
Magnet America, the largest manufacturer of the product, has seen sales fall from a peak of 1.2m in August 2004 to about 4,000 a month and now has an unsold stockpile of about 1m magnets.
“Every product has a lifespan and this one has run its course.”said Micah Pattisall, director of operations.
The American Folklife Center has a fascinating history of the yellow ribbon here. Its origin is a prison song (not Tony Orlando!) and the ribbon is very much a living tradition that can still be steered by a plethora of motivations by disparate groups.