There are great varieties of designs and unique patterns when it comes to the national flags of countries and territories. Some countries have used bright colors like red, yellow, and orange on their flags but others have gone for not so striking colors. But the purple color is one of the rarest flag colors on national flags. Purple is a color of royalty and anyone would expect it to dominate most flags. However, only two national flags have purple on them, Dominica and Nicaragua. The two countries that use purple on their flag did not do so until in the late 19th century. Here are the two country flags with purple.
The Two Country Flags With Purple
Flag of Dominica
The flag of Dominica is one of the two flags with purple. The current flag, which was adopted in November 1978, underwent small changes in 1981, 1988, and 1990. The flag was designed by Alwin Bully as the country prepared for independence. The flag comprises of a green field which represents the country’s vegetation. The green field is divided into four equal portions by a three-band cross of yellow, black, and white. The three colors represent the people, the soil, and the pure water. The cross symbolizes Christianity and Trinity. At the center of the cross is a red disk bearing 10 five-pointed stars circling a Sisserou Parrot. The parrot has purple feathers on the underside and the crown, making the flag one of the only two flags with purple.
Flag of Nicaragua
The current flag of Nicaragua was adopted in 1908 and was made official in August 1971. The design of the flag was inspired by the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America. Nicaragua’s flag consists of a white horizontal stripe between two blue stripes. The two blue stripes are representations of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean while white symbolizes peace. Sometimes, the blue colors are interpreted to symbolize loyalty and justice. The white stripe has the country’s coat of arms at the center. The coat of arms has a rainbow with a clear purple stripe as one of the rainbow colors. The rainbow symbolizes the liberty while the volcanoes represent the brotherhood of all the five Central American Countries.
Why Purple Is Not a Common Flag Color
There have been several theories as to why purple is not a common color on most flags. Until recently, purple dye was too expensive to use and was also a very rare color. In fact, it was considered more expensive than gold. Most of the countries could not afford to have the color on their flags. Only the wealthy and the royalty could afford to adorn purple. Hence, it was considered a symbol of opulence. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I forbade anyone outside of the royal family from adorning purple in a bid to control the expenditure of her people. The process of producing purple dye involved extracting slimy mucus from thousands of sea snail. The process was time-consuming and labor intensive. Also, thousands of snails would produce just a gram of purple dye.