Join FunTrivia for Free: Hourly trivia games, quizzes, community, and more!
Fun Trivia
Ask FunTrivia: Questions and Answers
Answers to 100,000 Fascinating Questions
Welcome to FunTrivia's Question & Answer forum!

Search All Questions

Please cite any factual claims with citation links or references from authoritative sources. Editors continuously recheck submissions and claims.

Archived Questions

Goto Qn #

Why did prisoners have to wear horizontal stripes on their uniforms? Was it supposed to represent the bars or something?

Question #4989. Asked by AOR.
Last updated Aug 05 2021.

Answer has 5 votes
Currently Best Answer

Answer has 5 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
They made the prisoners standout so they could be easily identified from the guards. The ensemble not only made prisoners easier to see, but it was symbolic of their shame.


Response last updated by gtho4 on Oct 14 2016.
Aug 09 2000, 4:19 AM
zbeckabee star
Answer has 5 votes
zbeckabee star
17 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 5 votes.
St. Petersburg Times, July 5, 2001 -- Stripes came into vogue in the early 19th century. The black and white bands were supposed to symbolize cell bars -- a scarlet letter for convicts. Just after the Civil War, all the inmates were wearing them.

But by the early 1900s, people were thinking differently about prisons and punishment. In 1904, at the height of the Progressive era, New York's superintendent of prisons stopped making his inmates wear stripes, calling such suits a "badge of disgrace." Federal prisoners didn't wear stripes after 1914. Florida inmates wore striped pants through the mid 1930s. no longer exists

Response last updated by gtho4 on Aug 05 2021.
Apr 06 2008, 10:27 AM
free email trivia FREE! Get a new mixed Fun Trivia quiz each day in your email. It's a fun way to start your day!

arrow Your Email Address:

Sign in or Create Free User ID to participate in the discussion