Flags are generally the most prominent symbol of an organization or a country. However, we will not usually put importance on the flag color meaning and hidden symbolism.
Before a flag was developed, the designer will put a lot of consideration into the images that they will introduce and the complementary colors that they will use.
It should reflect the morals, history, and values of the organization or the places that they represent.
Table of Contents
- A Complete Guide on the Flag Color Meanings and Hidden Symbolism
- The Contrasting Meaning of the Blue Color
- Common Elements and Factors Represented by the Colors of the Flags
- Combinations of Colors on Flags
A Complete Guide on the Flag Color Meanings and Hidden Symbolism
Historically, flags are being used as the symbol for more than 5,000 Years. The first-ever recorded flag was traced back to more than 3,000 BC when they found images of flag carvings on the Egyptian tomb and the metallic Iranian flags.
Flags were also used during the early civilization to signal victory and defeat. Armies also use this to send signals to their enemies and allies.
Today, every country, states, and territories will have their flag that represents their identity. Sports teams, organizations, and even families have also designed a flag that characterizes them. The colors they used as a foundation symbolizes their idealism, culture, history, and principles.
Red: Most Common Color of Flags
Red is undoubtedly the most common color that you will see on flags. It is a bold and powerful color that will often reflect the blood of those who fought on the revolution.
It represents the courage of people who stand against oppression. It indicates the struggle of the country to attain liberty.
Apart from that, it can also mean courage and strength. You can find it on the flag of America, where it highlights valor and hardiness.
The red on the Chinese flag represents the revolution. In the Philippines, it pertains to the courage of the people who fought for their freedom.
The red section of the Philippine flag will usually be at the bottom area, but during the war, the red part will be positioned on top of the flag. Vietnam and Austria’s flag also has a red shade that will represent blood.
White: The Color on the Background
Most people will notice that white is often used as a background color of the flag. However, it plays an equally important role. White is the symbolism of purity and peace.
It can also pertain to harmony and honesty. In some instances, it will be the representation of a mountain covered with snow.
In Mexico, the white on their flag denotes hope. However, there was a belief that it was used to represent the pure faith of the Catholics.
In Thailand, it also reflects purity, and at the same time, it pertains to the dominant religion in the country, which is Buddhism.
The Contrasting Meaning of the Blue Color
Blue can be a bold color when used in flags, but it can also be a calming shade. While there is a continuous debate on the meaning of blue flags, there are predominant meanings to the countries that use this.
Blue can be the representation of some natural elements such as the sky or the water. It can also pertain to various attributes such as justice, freedom, vigilance, peace, loyalty, and truth.
It can also be a sign of good fortune and success. In the Nepal flag, it suggests peace and harmony. This color can also be found in the flag of Greece that reflects the bodies of water that surrounds them.
Incidentally, the sea also plays an integral function in the country’s economy and culture. Blue will be the dominant color in Sweden’s flag. It relates to the country’s perseverance, justice, loyalty, truthfulness, and equity.
Yellow Symbolizes Sunshine
In China, yellow is considered an imperial color. Some Buddhists will consider this color as the representation of the country’s humility. Other times, people may think that this color is also sending a warning signal.
Therefore, it suggests the wealth and the affluence of Brazil. In Spain, it is a symbolism of generosity. It can also be found in the flag of Ghana that also relates to the country’s mineral wealth.
Green Symbolizes the Element of Nature
Green is possibly one of the unique colors of the flags. It will usually be the symbolism of things related to nature; it may pertain to the different geological features of the country, forest, agriculture, or the grassland.
However, it is not only limited to those elements since it can also denote a range of attributes such as joy, hope, and love. There are instances when it will also hold a sacred interpretation.
In other countries, they will use this color to suggest prosperity and fertility. In Italy, the green can have two symbolisms; It can relate to the hills and plains that are spread in different parts of the country, and it also denotes hope. Portugal has the same meaning of hope.
In Brazil, it is the representation of the Amazon Rainforest. India will have a green band on the bottom of its flag that highlights the fertility and abundance of its land.
Black: The Least Common Color in Flag
There’s probably something about black color that makes it an unpopular choice. It is a defining color that will usually have insignificant meaning and symbolism.
In countries where black is found in their flag, it will pertain to their ethnic heritage. It can also represent their history, the defeat of an enemy, or their triumph in battle.
Black can mean power, harmony, war, determination, and death. Antigua and Barbuda’s flag has a black color that relates to their heritage and soil.
South Korea and Botswana’s flag also has a black shade that highlights harmony. Germany is using this together with gold and red that indicates unity.
Common Elements and Factors Represented by the Colors of the Flags
A flag, just like the family crest or the coat of arms, serves as an identifier. It can represent a school, group, entity, territory, military branches, regions, and territories.
While you may notice that there may be some similarities in their design, none of them are entirely duplicated, and the symbolic meaning of the images and colors will be unique.
Here are some of the factors and elements that the designer will consider when choosing the color of the flags.
Flag should possess a historical significance. It should reflect the critical events that may have happened in the past years and could relate to the future that will hopefully happen.
These historical elements include war, revolution, bloodshed, religion, independence, and any significant events that shaped its identity.
This is another crucial factor that plays a significant role in the design of the flag. The colors that they will use should stand for the way of living and beliefs of the groups or society. Colors can be used to highlight the cultural differences of each country.
There are instances when the colors of the flag pertain to the natural resources of the country. It may put significance on the importance of the natural resources on their economy.
Combinations of Colors on Flags
If you look closely at some of the notable flags, you will notice that most of them combined a range of colors that will commonly complement each other.
It is not just for aesthetic reasons, but it comes with profound meanings and symbolism. Here are some of the most common combinations that you will notice on flags.
Blue, White, and Red
It is the most usual combination of colors on flags. It pertains to liberation and revolution. The tricolor of the French flag inspires most of this. Additionally, it is also the color of the Pan-Slavic movement.
Countries such as the USA, Puerto Rico, Liberia, Costa Rica, Chile, and Cuba will have these matching colors in their flag.
Red, Yellow, and Green
It is a Pan-African color combination. It reflects these countries’ ethnic heritage. Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mali, Guyana, Guinea, and Ghana highlight these colors in their flag.
Red, Black, White, and Green
This mixture of color also represents the ethnicities of Pan-Arabism, such as Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Kuwait, and UAE (United Arab Emirates).
Pink and White
You may not encounter this combination on the country’s flag. However, you can find this on the banner representing an organization, movement, or a society.
For instance, it can be the symbol of the God of Creation. It symbolizes peace on all the creations that he has made.
The flag colors meaning and hidden symbolism are profound. The designer does not randomly choose it just because they will look aesthetically pleasing.
In most situations, each of the colors will carry a significant meaning. Now that you are finally aware that each color will contain a range of hidden connotations and interpretations, you will probably have a different view on flags.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !