Today is the Fifth Annual International Blue Beanie Day in support of Web standards. It's a day to celebrate HTML, CSS, the open standards, languages and protocols that have always formed the backbone of the Web. The movement is spearheaded by the indomitable Jeffrey Zeldman, whose work and writing champions the cause of a compatible, readable Web forever.

If you want a Web that degrades gracefully onto older systems, works with any browser on any screen, is accessible to all regardless of abilities, and doesn't load like trying to squeeze football down a garden hose, join the movement and don your blue beanies.

Let's face it: The vagaries of the marketplace put demands on publishers to crapify the Web. Zeldman knows this. But it is what it is, and as champions of the Web, we have to encourage a culture that keeps it alive and thriving however we can. Standards battles are a long, bloody slog, with endless disagreements and back-and-forth. But if we keep on talking about it, we'll get there.

As we learned at ReadWriteWeb 2Way this year, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is working to pull us together around Web standards. It has developer and community groups working on HTML5, device APIs, standards for privacy and security, and other essential building blocks of the future Web that will keep us, our computers and our sites and services from talking past each other.

Some decisions are hashed out quietly by experts. Others happen loudly in public. Web standards are sustained by conversation, and Blue Beanie Day is a chance to start some.

Even the Internet Explorer team is wearing blue beanies today!

Don Your Blue Beanies!

To participate, take a self-portrait wearing a blue beanie and upload it to the Blue Beanie Day 2011 Flickr pool. You can also share it on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #bbd11. Chairman Zeldman also offers a downloadable blue beanie you can add to your social network avatars.

You can also just share the link to the Blue Beanie Day page.

Want to learn more about Web standards? Here's our infographic on the history of Web standards.

Check out our coverage of past Blue Beanie Days.