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You are watching: What is the most common color used in national flags?


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Answer: Purple

If you survey the colors discovered on all the flags that nations around the world, you’ll quickly discover trends emerge. Shades that blue, green, and red conquer the shade palettes of national flags (red is the color most supplied as a main or interval color) v variations of each, as well as yellow, white, and also black showing up frequently as well.

One shade is many notably absent from all however two national flags: purple. There’s no superstitious or mysterious reason for the lack of violet in national flags, however, together the factor to abstain native the usage of purple was a completely pragmatic one. Historically, violet dye to be either completely inaccessible to people about the civilization or, as soon as it was obtainable (mostly to people approximately the Mediterranean region), it to be obscenely expensive.

Before the innovation of fabricated purple dye in the mid-19th century, the only resource of truly purple dye was sea snails in the Tyrian region of the Mediterranean sea. The process for extracting the dye (either through milking the snail’s body or just crushing the up) was really labor-intensive and also it could take upwards that 12,000 snails simply to create enough dye (1.4 grams) to color the trim because that a single garment. It was so costly that the fetched its weight in silver- at Colophon, in Asia Minor.

As such, that was just impractical to usage purple because that anything quick of royal garments. Even emperors and also kings sometimes cringed in ~ the price—third-century roman inn emperor Aurelian famously forbade his wife from to buy a Tyrian purple silk shawl since it literally cost its weight in gold.

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We did mention above, however, that you have the right to now discover purple on two nationwide flags. The flags that Dominica and also Nicaragua, both adopted in the 20th century after the advent of synthetic purple dye, have small amounts of purple in them.