The Symbolism and Meaning of Colors

The colors blue, red, yellow and green have held various meanings throughout history.

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In the Middle Ages, blue was associated with devotion, divine wisdom, and truth. These attributes were part of the reason blue was considered the color of the Virgin Mary. Egyptian priests associated the blue sapphire with purity.


The liturgical significance of red is courage. In contemporary society, red is often associated with danger, but in China the red ruby was a symbol of long life, and early English physicians wore red robes as a sign of healing. Red is also associated with love, action, fire, and according to Goethe, red is the highest state of energy.


Yellow evokes sunshine and summer and has the highest reflectivity of all colors. Yellow also represents caution and stimulation.


Green reminds us of spring and renewal, and in the Middle Ages it was associated with Christ’s resurrection. In both contemporary America and in ancient Celtic myths, green is associated with ecology and was often used in pagan ceremonies. Renaissance brides often wore green dresses as a symbol of fertility.