In case you survey the colours discovered on all of the flags of countries world wide, you’ll shortly discover tendencies emerge. Shades of blue, inexperienced, and purple dominate the colour palettes of nationwide flags (purple is the colour most used as a major or accent coloration) with variations of every, in addition to yellow, white, and black showing steadily as properly.
One coloration is most notably absent from all however two nationwide flags: purple. There’s no superstitious or mysterious purpose for the dearth of purple in nationwide flags, nonetheless, as the explanation to abstain from the usage of purple was a very pragmatic one. Traditionally, purple dye was both fully inaccessible to folks world wide or, when it was accessible (largely to folks across the Mediterranean area), it was obscenely costly.
Earlier than the invention of artificial purple dye within the mid-19th century, the one supply of really purple dye was sea snails within the Tyrian area of the Mediterranean sea. The course of for extracting the dye (both by milking the snail’s physique or just crushing it up) was very labor-intensive and it may take upwards of 12,000 snails simply to create sufficient dye (1.four grams) to paint the trim for a single garment. It was so pricey that it fetched its weight in silver at Colophon, in Asia Minor.
As such, it was merely impractical to make use of purple for something wanting royal clothes. Even emperors and kings typically cringed on the worth—third-century Roman emperor Aurelian famously forbade his spouse from shopping for a Tyrian purple silk scarf as a result of it actually price its weight in gold.
We did point out above, nonetheless, that you may now discover purple on two nationwide flags. The flags of Dominica and Nicaragua, each adopted within the 20th century after the arrival of artificial purple dye, have small quantities of purple in them.
Picture courtesy of Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay.