|British color tradition is rooted in the country's rich history and culture.|
The centerpiece of the British flag - called the Union Jack - is the red cross of St. George, who is the country's patron saint.
The royal blue and white cross symbolize St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The Union Jack flag was created in 1600, when England and Scotland were united.
British royalty has always influenced color usage in Britain. "Royal" colors, deeply saturated colors such as purple, blues, reds and greens, have found their way into all corners of British life, even on buses and mailboxes. Dull colors, those worn by peasants in ancient times, are still associated with commoners.
In the 1950s, paint colors began to catch up with the dye colors that had long been available, and British buildings began to appear in an entire range of colors, from grays to reds, from yellows to blues and greens.
As in most countries, the colors of the flag figure prominently: Royal blue and red speak both of the monarchy and of Britain's democratic government.
|In Stuart Britain, white was the color of death and burial; of an unmarried man or woman; or of a woman that dies during birth. In Tudor Britain, however, white stood for purity, faith, truth and sincerity. Today, brides wear white, and Yorkshire fisherman are superstitious about wearing it.|
|Death and burial are represented by black; it is also associated with sadness and darkness. Servants and domestic help traditionally wear black in England, and superstitious Northumberland fishermen fear black.|
|Red is a male color in Britain. In Tudor Britain, flame red was for lovers, while dark red represented those who were long in love. Scarlet represents royalty and state officials, and is said to have warming and cooling properties, so it is used in sickrooms. Red is also the color of livery.|
|In Tudor England, brides of high societal rank wore a gold dress. Perfect yellow is used to represent joy and honor, or jealousy and fading love. Gold has royal associations through its use in crowns, jewelry and other regalia.|
|Blue is the color of the Conservative party, constancy, and, curiously, lasciviousness. Blue also is the color of apprentices. A bright blue-green represents high hopes.|
|Green can suggest wantonness or fidelity in the wedding ceremony. The color can represent happiness, youth, and charming ladies. Sea-green can be suggestive of a deceitful nature.|
|In Tudor Britain, violet was the color of mourning, as well as the color of religious fervor. Today, purple is another royal color.|
|In Tudor Britain, peasants wore browns and blacks because the dyes used in more beautiful clothes were expensive. Brown can stand for autumn or despair, and a reddish-brown speaks of steadfastness.|
|Gray can suggest bareness, fraud and poverty.|