Friday, June 29, 2012

Red, white, and blue expressions

Large Independence Day Mat from SquareCircleWorks

As the US’s Independence Day nears, I have been considering our red, white and blue flag.  I don’t think that many Americans realize that red, white and blue is not only popular in the US; this color combination is common around the world.

Red, white, and blue creations from SquareCircleWorks

How many countries have red, white, and blue flags?

I was surprised to learn that 28 countries have national flags of red, white, and blue.  (, 2012)  Of course, many of these flags are descendants of the Union Jack, and the days of the British Empire.  Still, Russia and many Slavic countries also use this combo on their flags.

Independence Day creations from SquareCircleWorks

Why has red, white, and blue been so popular?

I went to The Straight Dope board to find out what some folks thought.  One person guessed that the choice was purely practical.  She wrote, “In the days before synthetic dyes, madder (which makes red) and indigo (which makes blue) were relatively affordable natural dyes, which made clear and durable colors."  (flodnak, 2011)  Another suggested the combo was popular “...just because it looks good flying from a ship.” (Isosleepy, 2011)  You may question the credibility my sources; the thoughts are interesting nonetheless!

Independence Day bowl from SquareCircleWorks

Whatever your flag color and whenever your national day, I wish you peace.


References: (2012). Which countries have red white and blue flags? Retrieved from:

The Straight Dope. (2012). The red, white and blue color combination. Why is it so common? Retrieved from:

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