We play with colors every day. Consciously or subconsciously every day we are choosing what to wear, what to eat, what to buy. We cannot keep away from the color – whether we like it or not. Sometimes we choose color as a symbol to represent that we mourn, we celebrate, we support.
Here is where color confusion comes in. Will black color symbolize grief in Africa? Of course not! It will represent maturity, wisdom and masculinity. Or did you know that in Thailand, Brazil purple is the color of mourning and white in China and Korea? By the way, white color was also a symbol of mourning in Spain up till 15th century 1 .
So don’t be tricked and in a context of globalization don’t think that one size fits all.
The other day I was observing Spanish Flag. It made me think why these colors were selected? What they represent? What feelings does it evoke?
Of course, as always there is logic behind – the colors were selected in 1785 when King Charles III decided to change the warship flags and organized competition to select the best one. None of the 12 designs satisfied the king and he decided to create his own. This is how red stripe at the bottom, double yellow stripe and again red one on the top came into life. The colors were the most common among Spanish kingdoms – Castile has a yellow castle on a red field, Leon has a purple —sometimes dark red— lion carrying a yellow crown on a white field, Catalonia/Aragon has four red vertical pallets on a yellow field, Navarre a yellow chain on a red field 2. In 1843 it became national flag and the one that we see today emerged in 1981. All clean and clear.
But I don’t like realistic stories, I like the magic behind. There is a legend flying around that red represents the blood of bullfighters and yellow is the sand in the arena. Or another article mentions that in Spanish flag yellow stands for GENEROSITY and red for STRENGTH and BRAVERY 3. For me Spanish flag represents power, vividness and dignity. When shown it clearly makes the statement “I am here and I am going to win”, I am really admiring Spanish people who are so proud of this symbol and these colors that are not afraid to add it to their daily routines.
- Kate Smith, “All about the color white”, 2016 [http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-white-4369#.V_ppwOB97IV]
- Enforex, 2016, [ http://www.enforex.com/culture/history-spanish-flag.html]
- Maps of the world, 2016, [http://mapsofworld.himmera.com/Spain_flag_picture_meaning_colors.html]