When talking about colors and their meanings in different cultures, we should acknowledge the colorful representation of countries, which can tell us a lot about the history and the people. While having in mind everything we know about color psychology, let's take a look at a few interesting examples of what colors represent in flags.
Everyone is familiar with the look of the US flag - the thirteen stripes represent the thirteen founding states, and fifty stars current fifty states. The colors for this flag were taken from the British flag, and later on, the meaning was assigned to them such as courage, purity, and justice. It is interesting how in the Philippines flag blue is for peace, truth, and justice, while red is for patriotism; but originally these colors are meant to acknowledge the help of the US during the revolution.
For some countries, colors stand for a political system or revolution. At the flag of China, the color red represents the communist revolution, while the stars stand for communist party and the people. Just the same as China, the flag of Vietnam is red for communism, and the star represents the power of the people in Vietnam.
Something similar is happening in the flag of Bangladesh - the circle is for the sun, while it's color is red for the blood of the people who fought for independence. The green, on the other hand, stands out the beauty of nature in Bangladesh. Color green also appears in the Nigerian flag, to represent natural resources, while the white color stands for peace.
Some flags are storytelling. Egyptian flag begins their story with British occupation (red), followed up with bloodless revolution (white), and ending with Egypt being independent (black). The color blue in the flag of Congo is telling us about peace while there is this red strap over the flag to respect the rebellion which led them to peace.
In some multicultural countries, colors symbolize a variety of religions which citizens respect. In Pakistan for example, green is for the Islamic population and white represents the minorities. Also in India, green is for the Muslims, and Safran color represents Hindu population.
There are also some examples of philosophy expressed through colors in the flag, like in Indonesia. The color red in the Indonesian flag stands for courage, but also the human body, and the white for purity and the human soul, which then means that combined they make a whole person.
It is amazing how we use colors to express respect for great events in national history, as well as to express ideology. This colorful marks for national identity are a part of human behavior since the tribes, and it is another great visual implication for everything we have in common, as well as how beautifully diverse we all are.
What do you think about the colors of the flag? Do you know any other flag color meanings? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
About the author
Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.