There’re 196 countries in the world today,
and virtually none of them have purple on their national flag.
纵观历史 紫色从未用来象征王国 文明或帝国
Throughout history, purple was never used to represent a kingdom, civilization or empire.
So what’s wrong with purple?
It’s such a popular color today.
Why would no country use it in their flag?
The answer is really quite simple:
purple was just far too expensive.
No countries have purple on their flag because up until the 1800s,
purple was worth more than its weight in gold.
The color purple has been associated with royalty, power and wealth for centuries.
事实上 伊丽莎白二世首次提出除却王室家庭近亲 严禁他人衣着紫色
In fact, Queen Elizabeth the first forbade anyone except close members of the royal family to wear it.
Purple’s elite status stems from the rarity
and cost of the dye originally used to produce it.
The dye initially used to make purple came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre,
which is now in modern-day Lebanon.
Fabric traders obtained the dye from a small sea snail
that was only found in the Tyre region of the mediterranean.
A lot of work went into producing the dye,
as more than 10,000 snails were needed to create just one gram of Tyrian purple.
Since only wealthy rulers could afford to buy and wear the color,
it became associated with the imperial classes of Rome, Egypt and Persia.
Purple also came to represent spirituality and holiness,
because the ancient emperors, kings and queens that wore the color,
were often thought of as gods or descendants of the gods.
尽管有时 哪怕是天潢贵胄 这种染料依然贵不可言
Sometimes, however, the dye was too expensive even for royalty.
Third century Roman emperor Aurelion,
famously wouldn’t allow his wife to buy a shawl made from Tyrian purple silk,
because it literally cost three times its weight in gold.
A single pound of dye cost three pounds of gold,
which is the equivalent of $56,000 today.
So since the sheer price of purple was so astronomically high,
no one, not even the richest nations could afford to have purple on their flag.
约一个半世纪以前 紫色逐渐走下神坛 进入凡间
The hue became more accessible to lower-class is about a century and a half ago.
1856年 年仅18的英国化学家威廉 亨利 帕金
In 1856, 18-year-old English chemist William Henry Perkin
accidentally created a synthetic purple compound while attempting to synthesize quinine, an anti-malaria drug.
He noticed that the compound could be used to dye fabrics,
so he patented the dye, manufactured it and got filthy rich.
Purple that was then mass-produced.
So just about everybody could afford it,
the elite stopped valuing purple and the status symbol faded away.
but the country flags remained the same.
Since 1900, a handful of new national flags have been designed,
and a few of them have opted to use purple in their flag,
so don’t be making any bets just yet.
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