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


Answer: Purple

If you inspection the colors uncovered on every the flags the nations roughly the world, you’ll quickly discover trends emerge. Shades that blue, green, and also red dominate the shade palettes of nationwide flags (red is the color most offered as a main or accent color) through variations that each, as well as yellow, white, and also black showing up frequently as well.

One shade is many notably missing from all yet two national flags: purple. There’s no superstitious or mysterious reason for the absence of purple in national flags, however, as the reason to abstain native the use of violet was a completely pragmatic one. Historically, violet dye was either completely inaccessible come people roughly the human being or, as soon as it was easily accessible (mostly come people roughly the Mediterranean region), it was obscenely expensive.

Before the invention of man-made purple dye in the mid-19th century, the only resource of truly violet dye was sea snails in the Tyrian an ar of the Mediterranean sea. The process for extract the dye (either by milking the snail’s human body or just crushing it up) was really labor-intensive and also it might take upwards of 12,000 snails simply to develop enough dye (1.4 grams) to shade the trim because that a single garment. It was so costly that the fetched its load in silver at Colophon, in Asia Minor.

As such, it was simply impractical to usage purple because that anything quick of imperial garments. Also emperors and also kings sometimes cringed at the price—third-century roman inn emperor Aurelian famously forbade his wife from buying a Tyrian purple silk shawl since it literally cost its load in gold.

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We did mention above, however, that you deserve to now uncover purple on two nationwide flags. The flags that Dominica and Nicaragua, both embraced in the 20th century after ~ the development of artificial purple dye, have little amounts of violet in them.