The color that is most associated with freedom is blue. It is the color of the sky and the sea, which are both vast open spaces with no obstacles or visible limitations.
Depending on the culture and the context, as well as the shade of blue being used, it can represent many other meanings.
The color blue can stand for positive values such as trust, wisdom, faith, or negative values such as sadness or indifference.
Blue shades that go on the lighter side have a calming and soothing effect physically and mentally.
They can help reduce stress, slow down metabolism, and decrease appetite as the body enters a relaxed state. Darker shades, such as navy blue or electric blue, can instead trigger excitement, while even deeper blue colors can make one feel melancholic.
Blue as the Color of Freedom
According to studies, people associate the color blue with openness, safety, and peace.
Because of the strong imagery of the vast ocean and endless skies, a person sees blue as a visual cue to being more creative and receptive to new ideas.
Similar to other strong colors like red and yellow, blue can also influence the mind and body. Exposure to blue shades can make a person calm down and clear his thoughts.
The color also encourages free thought and open communication, allowing someone to candid express himself to a group. This is also why blue is a popular choice for color in flags.
Physically, the color can help bring down an individual’s blood pressure or body temperature. It can also curb one’s appetite as the body is lulled to a relaxing state. Because of this, blue is not a good choice for food related businesses, such as catering or restaurant operations.
Related: Blue Flame Symbolism
History of the Color of Freedom
Interestingly, the color blue was not recognized by most of the early civilizations. While the colors black, white, red, or yellow can be found in scripts from earlier era, blue was nowhere to be found.
Instead, the things that we now describe as blue were depicted as something else.
Researchers who explored various ancient literature as old as 20,000 years found nothing that was described as blue. Their study covered ancient Greek and Chinese writings, the Koran, Hindu Vedic hymns, and the Hebrew bible.
Items that were blue in color were mostly described as green, or other dark colors that were known at the time, even sometimes being referred to as similar to red.
They believe that this is because blue is not seen often in nature. Red, green, brown, and yellow, in contrast, can be usually seen in flowers, trees, animals, land, or sunlight. White and black can be distinguished by night and day.
On the other hand, blue plants or animals are rarely seen. Even the sky and the ocean are not really blue and only appear to be so due to the wavelength of light.
Early traces of the color could only be found in ancient Egypt from about 6,000 years ago. Coincidentally, the Egyptians were also the only ones who could produce blue dyes at that time, using pigments from the mineral lapis lazuli. This is most likely the reason why they had a specific name for the color.
The Color of Freedom in Different Cultures
While blue is often perceived as peaceful and relaxing, some cultures see it differently when used in certain ways. The shade of blue used is also important, as light blue shades may have totally opposite meanings from the darker shades.
Most western cultures see blue as a sign of peace, calm, and authority, while Eastern cultures perceive the color as symbols of immortality and healing.
In Greece and Turkey, blue is seen as a symbol of protection and can ward off evil spirits. They use the image of a blue eye for this purpose. Dark blue means sorrow and grief in both Korea and Mexico, and it indicates the loss of a loved one.
The color blue also has religious significance. For the Catholics, navy blue is associated with purity, innocence, and faith because it was shade used to depict the robe of Virgin Mary.
Meanwhile, in Hinduism, blue is a sacred color because it is the shade of Krishna’s skin.
The Color of Freedom in the United States
The United States of America often associates freedom with the colors red, white, and blue. These are the colors of the American flag.
As the United States has freedom as its central organizing principle in its constitution, and the US flag represents the nation, people have associated the colors of the flag with freedom.
Blue in the English Language
Despite its late appearance in language and literature, the color blue is widely available today, particularly in the English language.
It can represent an emotion or state of mind, an event, or a person as used in some idioms.
- Blue Blood refers to a person of royalty or from a noble lineage. This is to indicate that they are different from regular people whose blood are simply red.
- Blue in the face describes someone who has to repeat something over and over again, while the listener does not pay attention
- Feeling blue means being emotionally down, such as a state of sadness or depression
- Looking blue around the gills refers to a person who looks sick or weak
- Blue collar worker is someone whose work involves manual labor
- Out of the blue describes an unexpected event or occurrence
- In a blue funk refers to being anxious or having panic attacks
- True blue indicates loyalty and honesty
- Into the blue means that someone or something has disappeared and left no traces
- Once in a blue moon is an event or occurrence that rarely happens, or is not expected to happen often
- Blue ribbon indicates a high standard of excellence. It also represents honesty and integrity.
The Color of Freedom in Pop Culture
Characters have been depicted in mostly blue colors in several stories, books, movies, and even in nursery rhymes.
Its popularity has significantly risen in recent times as blue personas have become main characters in fictional stories.
In entertainment targeted for kids, there is a popular nursery rhyme called “Little Boy Blue” that talks about a boy who watches over the farm animals.
More blue characters appear in cartoons and fairy tales, such as Ursula from the “Little mermaid”, Dory in “Finding Nemo”, Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch”, the Genie in the story of “Aladdin, Sadness in the movie “Inside Out’, Cookie Monster in “Sesame Street”, as well as all the “Smurfs”.
There are also blue characters in movies meant for older audiences, such as the “Avatars”, or Beast and Mystique in “X-men”.
Blue is a popular color of choice for both men and women because of its cooling and calming effect on the mind and body. Wearing or seeing blue gives a feeling of comfort, serenity, and relaxation.
If you are planning to use blue as a symbol, be conscious about the shade of blue that you are going to use. Lighter shades of blue have more positive meanings, while darker shades may have negative or sad connotations.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.