Taking a walk around a quiet rural area can be a good way to relax from the stresses and strains of life. But if you spot a purple fence on your travels, you should be incredibly wary. Because if you were to get too close to that fence, your life could be in serious danger. So the next time you spot these colorful markings, here is exactly what you have to do.
If you frequent the great outdoors regularly, however, you may be used to seeing random stuff from time to time and acting accordingly. Some may even say that this is part of what makes those treks so satisfying. After all, you never know what may be around the corner. And if it happens to be dangerous, well, that just makes for a better story after the fact.
While out and about, then, you may have already seen the odd splash of color on certain landmarks. And if those marks are on trees, they could hold a variety of different meanings. An orange stripe or two, for example, typically signals that the tree will be cut down. You should take particular note, however, if you stumble across a fence featuring a dash of purple.
Yes, more and more people are marking their fence posts and trees with vertical purple lines. But this hasn’t been done for decorative purposes, nor is the color a stylistic choice to brighten things up. This particular marker has been put in place to warn those who see it to be very careful indeed.
It’s particularly important to make sure people understand this kind of warning, too. After all, people love the idea of going traveling and experiencing another culture firsthand. And while soaking in the sights in a city may be an obvious choice for a trip, making your way to a more rural setting could be just the ticket. But – in this instance, at least – this is where the problem arises.
You see, many states in America continue to pull in tourists from far and wide. Thanks to its temperate climate and many attractions, California is typically a big draw for sightseers. Florida and New York each pull in a good deal of people, too. But all those visitors may well notice a few unusual – and colorful – signs during their journeys.
As previously mentioned, an orange spot on a tree signifies that the specimen in question is due to be chopped down. A yellow marker, by contrast, serves as a warning to passers-by. It means that particular tree will bear a pungent fruit called ginkgo.
Sidewalks can also possess random dashes of color. If these are pink or orange, for instance, this indicates a new tree will be planted in that very area. Plus, as some may already know, the U.S. has a certain color code for its various utility lines.
Should you stumble upon a red stripe on the ground, for example, this means an electric power line is just below the surface. A green marker, on the other hand, highlights the location of a sewer or drain, while a splash of blue indicates a water pipe nearby. That’s not all, though, as a variety of other colors – including purple – need to be taken into account.
You see, white markers may be found on the street – although these shouldn’t be confused with the standard white lines that often lie in the middle of the road. In this case, the streaks trace potential evacuation routes if an emergency should arise.
Then there may be colorful marks on the road – and these are ones that drivers in the U.S. need to know to travel safely. Perhaps the most famous example, of course, is the double yellow line, which serves a highly important purpose.
Most vitally, the double yellow line helps separate the two lanes of traffic on the road. And as those who often travel by car in the U.S. know, a driver must watch out for such a marking if they feel the need to overtake one of the vehicles in front of them. If you power over the line when trying to get around another car, after all, you’ll be breaking the law.
But drivers in New Jersey had to contend with the emergence of yet another new sign in 2016. Yes, in the fall of that year, residents of Mahwah noticed something different on the road. It seemed that the famous double yellow line had been given a strange makeover.
In particular, a new blue line had been painted between the two yellow ones – and this may have baffled plenty. You see, with a new color in play, locals didn’t know if the standard rules still applied. For starters, blue markings on the road are more typically used for the benefit of disabled motorists.
And the confusion in New Jersey only continued to grow as two more colors were subsequently introduced. In the town of Dumont, a red marking was added to the center of a road. Then, further down the street, a green stripe was seen filling in the gap between the double yellow lines.
At that point, motorists across the state may well have been desperate for some answers. Yet, as it turned out, these additional colors didn’t indicate any changes to the rules of the road. Instead, they had been painted to honor many very special people in the community.
Specifically, a female resident of Mahwah had wanted a tribute to be paid to local law enforcement. And ultimately her wish was granted with that blue line, which had been applied to the road on which the town’s police department is based.
After that, several other communities in New Jersey looked to follow suit. And when the new markings turned up in Mantua, the community police responded with a heartfelt statement on their Facebook page. The message explained, “The blue line is a symbolic reference to law enforcement.”
The statement continued, “[The line] describes the concept that the police are what stand between the victimizers and would-be victims. Our hope is that it serves as a reminder that we are here to help, and [we] will do what we can to intervene to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
The blue line craze ultimately inspired officials to honor some of the other sectors of the emergency services. Yes, that previously mentioned red line was added to the road for the local fire department. The green one was put in place in order to champion the efforts of paramedics.
But while those dashes of color ultimately had positive connotations, that’s not always the case – as we know the purple markings are serious business. But if you happen to visit Arizona, Idaho or Montana, you may also catch sight of some orange markers. And at that stage, you should probably watch your step, as this vibrant hue could serve as a warning.
Why? Well, it’s been reported that landowners in those states may use orange paint as a way to mark their territory. You’ll be trespassing on private property, then, if you go past the item with the paint on. And while, to some, that may seem like a rather unusual way to protect land, the concept is far from a new one.
Back in 1987, the state of Arkansas passed what was at the time an unusual law. Alongside the installation of more traditional signs, homeowners were permitted to paint objects on their land a certain color as a means of warning passers-by. That way, someone would know if they’d strayed on to private property by mistake.
Nine more states subsequently followed Arkansas’ lead, with Florida, Missouri, Kansas and North Carolina legally protecting homeowners through the paint method. And in 1997 yet another major state adopted the statute, as we’re about to discover.
Yes, Texas embraced the law that year. Unlike Arizona, Idaho and Montana, however, purple was the color of choice in the Lone Star State, just as it was in Arkansas and the other locations. So, why exactly did the Texas authorities settle on that particular hue?
Well, Ashley Pellerin, who works at Prairie View A&M University, offered up a potential explanation as well as addressing an additional issue. Around 12 months after the law was passed in Texas, you see, homeowners found that trespassers weren’t getting the message. They were ignoring both the signs to stay away and the purple stripes.
Ultimately, then, an adjustment was made to the Purple Paint Law. Specifically, landowners were no longer required to hang up a “No Trespassing” sign; the paint by itself was good enough. “[The paint] holds the same weight, and the same law violations apply,” Pellerin told Inquisitr in 2016. “It’s no trespassing, period.”
Pellerin also speculated as to why purple was the color of choice in this instance. “A lot of people who are colorblind… can actually see the color purple,” she explained. “So I believe that’s why it was chosen.” That said, if a Texas resident wanted to be covered by this unique law, they had to follow some specific instructions.
Data-gatherers the Central Texas Geocachers have neatly outlined what needs to be done to comply with the Purple Paint law. The group revealed, “[The paint marking] must be vertical, at least eight inches long [and] at least one inch wide. [The] bottom of the mark should be between three to five feet above the ground.”
The Geocachers further explained, “[Purple paint] markings can be no more than 100 feet apart in timberland. Markings can be no more than 1,000 feet apart on open land, [and] they must be in a place visible by those approaching the property.”
But the purple stripes in Texas don’t just serve as a deterrent to normal trespassers. The markings also act as a way of warning off local hunters from stepping on to the property, which in turn protects the homeowner from any possible gunfire. But despite all of the regulations that have been put in place, one major issue remains.
You see, regardless of the unique warning signs, some individuals continue to trespass on private property. Brad Clark – a game warden in the Lone Star State – told Inquisitr, “People hunting or fishing without the landowner’s consent is a common issue. Often they ignore posted signs and purple paint.”
In other cases, though, people are simply unaware of what the purple paint signifies, and Rudy Fernandez touched upon this fact in 2016. Known as the “One-Armed Outdoorsman,” Fernandez fronted a video that year for Texas radio station KEAN-FM that sees him talk at length about the Purple Paint Law.
After diving into the background of the regulation, Fernandez then segues into one of his encounters with purple-marked areas in Texas. Standing next to a fence post, the host says, “Sure enough, I’ve been out with a couple of my friends here recently.”
Fernandez continues, “And [my friends] said, ‘Man, what’s up with all these purple posts? People love the color purple!’ Know what it means? Stay safe and stay out of trouble. It’s [called] ‘No Hunting Purple.’ You can mark your posts with it.”
“So if you see [a fence in Texas] and this color purple shows up on fence posts or gate posts, it means no trespassing [and] no hunting,” Fernandez adds. “Abide by it. It’ll keep you alive in the Lone Star State, and it will certainly keep you out of trouble!” With that, the short clip comes to a close.
This video was subsequently uploaded to KEAN-FM’s official YouTube channel in March 2016, and since then it’s earned over 66,000 views on the site. The clip has generated many comments, too, with YouTube users sharing their responses to the unusual color-based law.
One commenter wrote, for example, “I saw this a lot in North Carolina also. Never saw it before then, as I grew up in Wisconsin. No one knew what it was for in my group, but no one in the group was any kind of outdoorsman, either! Good to know moving forward.”
And as that individual implies, ignorance of this particular law isn’t just restricted to Texas; Missouri has faced this problem before as well. Indeed, David Carlisle from the Missouri Department of Conservation has explained that some people there didn’t know about the purple fences, either.
However, Carlisle still believed that the method was a success for the most part. Speaking to KNPN in 2014, he said, “It’s a really good law. We don’t often see one that everybody can look at and kinda go, ‘You know what? That makes sense.’ And the purple paint is something that’s kind of universal. It’s taking on across the nation.”
So, it’s important to know exactly what a purple fence post signifies, as ignoring that message could land you in jail – or even worse. But there are other unusual – and less threatening – sights that you may come across while going about your day. Take green lights, for example. And there’s a good explanation as to why homeowners up and down the U.S. have taken to bathing the outsides of their houses in this vibrant color.
Yes, you may be out for an evening stroll around the neighborhood when you suddenly spot a green light radiating from somebody’s porch. It’s bright and eye-catching, but it’s not related to Christmas, and neither is it anything to do with Halloween. As it turns out the reason why people have decided to illuminate their houses with this color is much more poignant. It may even just leave you with a tear in your eye.
It’s fair to say, then, that green isn’t the most obvious choice of color with which to illuminate your home. And if you spotted a property being bathed in verdant light, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the ghoulish hue was trying to draw in trick-or-treaters. However, as previously mentioned, you’d be mistaken.
Since 2015, you see, a campaign has been trying to attach a special meaning to the green light. More specifically, the aim is to use the color as a way of showing support to a certain section of society. And people are actively encouraged to display green lights on their porches and to try and convince their friends and family to do the same.
An extract from a website that was set up to promote the green light campaign informs readers about how they can get involved, too. Yes, it urges people to “Change one light in a visible location in [their] home or office to green.” It then encourages individuals to keep the emerald light switched on every day – for a full 24 hours.
What’s more, as well as asking people to display the correctly-colored lamp, those behind the campaign also want participants to spread the word about what they are doing. Their website reads, “Inspire others to join the cause by taking a picture of your green light and sharing it on social media.” Another extract then asks people to log their efforts on maps, and this allows them to see both how many people are getting involved and how far the participation is spreading across the country.
As it turns out, then, the idea has seemingly caught on. And many people have got involved over the years, deciding to illuminate green lights of all shapes and sizes on the front of their properties. Some folk kept their displays subtle, with one emerald-colored lantern. But others went the whole hog, lighting up their whole houses in the grassy hue.
And as the campaign grew, participants shared photos of their efforts on social media. Many of the images wound up on a dedicated Facebook page, which, as of November 2019, boasted over 27,000 likes. Meanwhile, the map depicting the whereabouts of the green lights showed more than nine million “online acts of support” from around the United States.
Of course, the green light campaign isn’t the first time that an organization had harnessed the power of social media to raise awareness of a worthy cause. That’s right, in recent years many charity movements have achieved viral fame. All they had to do was capture the imagination of the general public and inspire them to get involved.
One such viral moment was the Ice Bucket Challenge from back in 2014, and as you may remember, it took the internet by storm. As its name suggests, the activity required participants to douse themselves with a bucket of icy water while being filmed. And following their soaking, they would post the video to social media and nominate others to take the plunge.
But what was the purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge? Well, it was meant to raise awareness of ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The activity started to get some widespread coverage in July 2014, and it had soon earned viral status. In fact, during September 2014 alone, a whopping 17 million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos were shared on Facebook.
The campaign proved so popular that it attracted several high-profile participants. That’s right, celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon, Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey all completed the Ice Bucket Challenge – as did former U.S. president George W. Bush. The president at the time, Barack Obama, was also nominated. And despite ultimately deciding not to take part, he did end up donating $100 towards the cause.
The success of the Ice Bucket Challenge was notably good news for a variety of Lou Gehrig’s disease charities, too. The ALS Association, for example, received donations totaling $115 million over just eight weeks in 2014. Furthermore, the majority of the money raised went towards funding research into the neurological disease.
Given the good that the campaign had done, the ALS Association was eager to replicate its success the following year. But the campaign sadly didn’t catch on for a second time. In 2017 Brian Frederick, executive vice president of communications and development for the ALS Association, told Mashable, “I think we learned you can’t capture lightning in a bottle twice.”
However, one non-profit campaign that’s managed to tick over year after year is Movember. The movement was founded back in 2003 by friends Luke Slattery and Travis Garone in Melbourne, Australia. At first, these two men had much simpler ambitions; they merely wanted to bring the mustache back into the public eye.
But Slattery and Garone had a brainwave when they decided to make the humble ’tache a symbol of awareness for men’s health. In particular, the Movember campaign was designed to shine a light on male cancers and mental wellness. And as is self-explanatory, all participants had to do was raise money by sporting a mustache throughout November.
Since its launch, Movember has reportedly managed to keep growing annually. In its first year, for example, just 30 people took part. But in the following year, this number increased dramatically, seeing 480 people raise over $40,000 towards men’s health initiatives. And in 2010 over a million participants reportedly took part in Movember in 11 different countries.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, Movember has also attracted celebrity supporters over the years. These include the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham – all of whom proudly promoted the campaign on their faces. And with the help of social media, they could encourage even more people to get involved.
Another viral charity campaign that received celebrity backing was the #NoMakeUpSelfie movement in aid of Cancer Research. This trend initially started in the U.K., but it soon attracted some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. And they were more than willing to bare all to raise awareness of the cause.
Among the women to get involved in the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign were celebrities such as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Cara Delevingne. They, like hundreds of others, took to social media to share a photograph of themselves in all their natural glory. And thanks to the awareness that was raised, the U.K. charity Cancer Research received millions in donations.
Following the success of the #NoMakeUpSelfie trend in 2014, Harpal Kumar – the chief executive of Cancer Research U.K. – issued a statement to the Press Association. In it, he talked about the group’s astonishment at how much the public backed the initiative. He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie trend.”
Kumar continued, “We don’t receive any government funding for our research. And so it is phenomenal to think that the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago… It has been an exciting week, and we would just like to thank everyone again for their support.”
Part of the beauty of viral, non-profit campaigns is that they can restore our collective confidence in human kindness. If timed correctly, they can give society something to feel good about when current affairs stories seem to address somewhat depressing topics. And the green light campaign is by no means any different.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge and Movemeber before it, the green light movement relies on the goodwill of everyday people. It encourages individuals to take inspiration from their friends, families and neighbors to get involved and share their efforts online. That way, they can join the viral revolution and raise the profile of a good cause.
But what exactly is the green light movement in aid of? Well, to give it its proper name, the Green Light a Vet campaign aims to raise awareness of veterans and show appreciation for the sacrifices that they make for their country. And as you may have already guessed, all people have to do to get involved is change the color of one of their bulbs.
The organizers of the Green Light a Vet campaign even includes entities such as the retail chain Walmart. The initiative as a whole, you see, wants to create a clear symbol to military personal that their service is highly valued. So, neighborhoods can show their appreciation without saying a word; they simply have to flick a switch.
The Green Light a Vet campaign was launched to coincide with Veterans Day in 2015. And the symbolism behind the initiative was revealed in a statement from the Walmart Foundation at the time. It read, “A green light means go and that’s what veterans are known for – their ability to take action quickly no matter the challenge.”
Meanwhile, as an extract from the Green Light a Vet Facebook page points out, “Green is the color of hope, renewal and well-being. ‘Green Light’ is also a term commonly used to activate forward movement.” And that’s why the verdant shade was chosen to be the best color to “shine a light on America’s veterans.”
Gary Profit is a former brigadier general who subsequently went on to become Walmart’s senior director of military programs. In an interview with TheBlaze in 2015, he revealed what the Green Light a Vet campaign meant specifically to him. Profit said, “I hope it symbolizes what I have felt certainly since 9/11.”
Profit then went on to explain what he meant by that statement. He said, “That is the sense that, whether one agrees with the decisions to do things from a national security perspective, there is this universal sense that we should honor the service and respect the sacrifice of those who have worn the nation’s uniform and the families who have supported them.”
Within weeks of the campaign launching in 2015, some 1.5 million people had promised to get involved. And many of the people who pledged their support shared their efforts on social media, alongside the hashtag “greenlightavet.” As a result, Blue Star Families’ CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet told TheBlaze that she was “thrilled” with the response.
Blue Star Families is an organization that was created by the spouses of military personnel in August 2009. It aims to help the families of service personnel and also to raise awareness of the challenges that they often face. And as a result, it is a perfect partner for the Green Light a Vet campaign.
One challenge that service personnel face is establishing roots with their families. That’s because their job involves them moving around a lot. But Roth-Douquet hoped that the Green Light a Vet campaign would help them to feel more connected. She told TheBlaze, “We think this initiative is very important. Military families love the work they do for the country, but they can feel isolated from their neighbors.”
Roth-Douquet continued, “You can not know your neighbors, and it’s easy to not know whether your neighbors know the hard work that you’re doing… I think this green light initiative is a really beautiful way to do that. You see green lights dotting the porches, and that’s a wonderful visualization that people know you’re there, and they do care.”
Furthermore, Walmart’s pledge to partner with the Green Light a Vet campaign isn’t the only way that it reaches out to military members. Yes, the retailer also encourages businesses to employ veterans or their spouses – to make civilian life easier for them. Often, you see, the challenges of military life mean that the partners of service personnel can struggle to find employment.
Roth-Douquet elaborated on this idea to TheBlaze. She said, “Moving the way they do, it’s very hard for the non-military member to keep working… We can remember to include the person who also serves, besides the one in the uniform, acknowledge them and help them find the work that they can do.”
Gary Profit, it seems, shares a similar belief. He agrees that society needs to better understand the challenges faced by several military personnel. Speaking of Green Light a Vet, he said, “We think that the campaign is entirely intended to spark a movement where we change the dialogue in our communities to one that recognizes the value of veterans and their families.”
Four years after it launched, then, it seems that the Green Light a Vet campaign is starting to catch on. People show their support for the initiative across social media by posting photos of their emerald-hued lanterns. And many of them write heartfelt tributes to the military alongside their snaps.
One poignant post shared on Instagram in 2017 showed a lantern glowing green outside someone’s front door. And alongside the snap, the user wrote, “Thank you to all the veterans out there who served, fought, sacrificed… choosing to put their lives on hold and run to the sound of chaos because they believed in something bigger than themselves.”
This particular internet user’s glowing tribute continued along the same lines. The grateful person went on, “Thank you to all the military families who have been and continue to be the glue and the foundation. You can never be thanked enough… You’re proof that our freedoms have never come free.”
Concluding their post in support of the Green Light A Vet campaign, the participant also expressed her gratitude to all those people that continue to serve today. She said, “Thank you to all my brothers and sisters deployed right now finding and destroying evil all over the world. Stay safe and get after it!”