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Graduation Tassels: History, Meaning, and Colors

Graduation day is an exciting time of celebration and recognition for academic achievement. There are various traditions involved, such as the throwing of graduation caps and the turning of graduation tassels.

The moment builds throughout the ceremony. The graduates’ names are announced, diplomas are handed out, hands are shaken, and, finally, the silence before the dean announces it is time to move that tassel. The feeling and emotions of all you have accomplished truly set in as the cheers of friends and families ring out to applaud your big moment.

Of all the graduation regalia, the graduation tassel is one of the most prized and sought-after pieces of your graduation couture. So why is this professionally made tuft of hanging thread so important? Simply put, it is the meaning this little object possesses, making it a priceless remembrance once you graduate.

The History of the Graduation Tassel

Graduation tassels date back to the 14th century. European universities used tassels to represent different levels of academic achievements. This symbolism has now been given to graduation honor cords, which denote specific achievements.

In recent years, graduation tassels have been used to simply signify a graduate completing a high school or college degree.

The Tassel Flip

The tassel flip is a recent phenomenon, starting roughly fifty years ago in American universities. Tassels begin on the right side of your graduation cap and are moved to the left side once instructed by the dean and when the participants complete the transition from students to graduates.

We recommend pocketing your tassel before throwing up your graduation cap in celebration to have it as a remembrance for later years.

Graduation Tassel Colors

At first glance, the first thing you probably notice is the color of your tassel. Generally, the color of the tassel coincides with your high school or college’s school colors. The same color is used to represent your connection to the school.

The symbology Behind Graduation Tassels

Above all else, the tassel is a remembrance of your friends, favorite classes, and most memorable moments through your academic journey. A hanging charm denotes the year in which you completed your degree and realized all the hard work and hours of studying. The tassel and charm culminate as one object - a token of your achievements, the stepping stone to your future, and a symbol to look back at in the days to come.

Be Prepared For Your Graduation

All your studies, tests, and assignments have resulted in you finally being about to attend your graduation ceremony. There are still, however, a few more preparations to attend to. Graduation ceremonies are large affairs, with students dressed identically. As a result, it can be difficult for family and friends to spot you in the crowd.

To ensure you are fully prepared for your graduation, visit our site for all of your graduation regalia and accessories like graduation stoles and tassels. We offer customizable options that will ensure that your family and friends can pick out of the crowd, no matter the size of your graduation.

Related Readings:

Different Ways to Display Your Tassel After Graduation

The Meaning Behind Graduation Robes and Their Colors

Original Post: May 2017

Updated On: July 2021