John Hancock Weather Beacon Flashes Red and Blue to Celebrate Red Sox World Series Victory

BOSTON, MA, October 31, 2013 - Within minutes of the Red Sox victory in the World Series, the famed weather beacon atop the John Hancock Building in Boston began flashing red and blue to signify the Win. The iconic beacon has flashed red and blue only twice before, in 2004 when the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, and again in 2007 when they topped the Colorado Rockies.

And on the day of the victory parade as Red Sox nation celebrates another world championship, the first in Fenway Park since 1918, a 30 foot by 50 foot championship banner will fly from atop the weather beacon. Previously, a Red Sox banner flew from the John Hancock building in 2007 when the team won the American League pennant and then again when they won the Series. This year, the weather beacon lights will continue to flash red and blue until the conclusion of the victory parade.

“John Hancock has been proud to call Boston home since the company was founded here 151 years ago, and we are thrilled to reflect the excitement of the community by lighting up the beacon and flying the flag,” said James D. Gallagher, Executive Vice President.

The beacon atop the 26-story tower at 200 Berkeley Street in Boston, known as the Old John Hancock Building or Berkeley Street Building, since 1950 has flashed red or blue to reflect the local weather. A poem, part of Boston lore, deciphers the lights:
Steady blue, clear view.
Flashing blue, clouds due.
Steady red, rain ahead.
Flashing red, snow instead.

During baseball season, flashing red means the Red Sox game has been called off on account of weather.

In October 2004, when the Red Sox won the Series for the first time since trading Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, a new line was added to the poem:
Flashing Blue and Red, when The Curse of the Bambino is dead!

John Hancock operates from several buildings in Boston. The company owns the Berkeley Street Building, as distinct from the John Hancock Tower, which it does not. The Berkeley Street Building’s engineers have switches in the HVAC control room that control the operation and color of the lights. Normally, the engineers monitor the National Weather Service website every four hours or so for updates and adjust the lighting based on weather projections.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$567billion (US$539 billion) as at June 30, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at