Re: Belt color importance
Nice points by Matt and Lyle.
Belts are a validation of achievement. As are any exam certificates or marks or even tattoos of the yakuza.
In Aikido, and I would say in life also really, a validation or reward should be cherished by the receiver, it's a personal thing. It's for self not for some arrogant identity.
So if you have a belt that you have earned you should wear it with pride as a matter of honour. This shouldn't be used to mean or show you are better than or superior to. It means you're just more able to help.