The masked attackers who try to kill the Sun family wear a distinctive red ribbon in Netflix’s action series ‘The Brothers Sun.’ Big Sun notices the red ribbon right after seeing the dead body of an attacker who tries to kill Charles Sun in Taipei, Taiwan, before the latter leaves for Los Angeles. After arriving in the City of Angels to protect his mother Eileen “Mama” Sun and brother Bruce Sun, Charles encounters the red ribbon again. Eventually, Mama Sun discovers that the attackers who try to kill her family are the members of a group named the “Boxers.” But why do they wear a red ribbon? SPOILERS AHEAD.
Identifying the Boxers
The Boxers are a group that has a presence all across the world, just like triads such as the Jade Dragons. The community, which seeks to eliminate the triads to end the oppression the latter groups cause, also remains highly secretive like its enemies. The Boxers are a “faceless” collective. They communicate with one another using chatrooms that can be accessed through a QR code given to each member. Since the members of the community don’t know one another, the Boxers need something to identify themselves. They use the red ribbon as their material of identification.
The red ribbon helps them identify one another irrespective of the battles they are fighting. Whether it is a brawl in a nightclub or a full-on attack in a luxurious spa, the Boxers find their allies by locating the red ribbon. The ribbon also acts as the access key to their communication portal as their QR codes are present on a bead tied to the ribbon. The material, thus, helps them connect with their allies safely and secretly. While the triads are united, irrespective of their secret identities, by their similar professions and activities, the Boxers band together using the red ribbon and the chant, “The riddance of evil must be thorough.”
The Boxers are mainly the offspring of people who had to suffer the suppression of the triads. Since they were individuals who were trying their best to ensure their families’ survival, they were not a unified group. As powerless people, they were not able to look after one another even when the triads were killing their fellow brothers and sisters. That’s the reason why nobody came forward to save Grace’s father when he was butchered by a member of the triads. When the Boxers were formed, they must have realized the need for unity among them.
It is difficult for a group of people, who came forward from varying ways of life and experiences, to find unity among themselves when their losses and sufferings differ significantly. Therefore, they need to rely on materials that create a sense of unity. That’s the significance of the red ribbon. The Boxers can stand united despite their differences due to the red ribbon and the accompanying chant. But why exactly the red ribbon? According to the Chinese culture, the color red is associated with “life-generating energy.”
The Boxers represent a new life for the people who have been oppressed by the triads. They are the embodiment of independence and rebirth as far as these vulnerable people are concerned. Therefore, the red color makes it clear what the secret society is offering to the individuals who want new lives without the triads hurting them.
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