Data Book


2.25 Colour usage and significance

It is a well known fact that almost all cultures have specific significance for some colours. In addition, there are a couple of things that have to be considered when describing the usage of colour in a culture.
a. Name of colour is not one to one correspondence (even in English). For example, purple for one culture is pink for another.
b. Degree of significance varies. Therefore it is very difficult to describe colour significance.

In addition, there are two specific things that were noticed:
c. Colour of national flag: Some countries are very sensitive about colour (or combination of colour) of national flag.
d. Specially defined owner of specific colour: Some country (or culture) has a symbol colour(s) for specific matters. Sometimes significance (or sensitivity) is very high for the colour, in some case, it is not.

2.25.1 Colour in national flag (COLOUR)

China CNA Red very significant
Hong Kong HKG
India IND Orange (Sacrifice), White (Peace), Green (Prosperity) very significant
Indonesia INA not significant
Japan JPN Red circle, White background not so significant
Korea KOR Colours in national flag are not significant
Malaysia MAS Yellow(King) is significant, Blue (unity), White(pure) and Red(bravery)
Philippines PHI Red(Bravery), White(Purity), Blue(Truthfulness) significant
Singapore SIN Red and White significant
Thailand THI Red (the Thai nation), White (the Buddhist religion), Blue (The King)

2.25.2 Colour for defined (and significant) meaning (COLOUR)

China CNA Red(justice, truth)
Green(postal)
Hong Kong HKG Magenta (regional flower in HKG)
India IND White(purity)
Orange(sacrifice)
Indonesia INA Used as symbol colour of political party
Red(nationalist/democratic)
Green(Moslem party)
Yellow(Profession party)
White(Those who do not use theirvote)
Japan JPN There are some but very low significance
Korea KOR There are some but very low significance
Malaysia MAS Green(religion/piety for Moslems)
Philippines PHI White(Purity, medical profession)
Blue(Truthfulness)
Purple (Holy week)
Red/Green--- Christmas
Singapore SIN Green(religion for Moslem)
Thailand THI Red (the Thai nation),
White (the Buddhist religion),
Blue (The King)
Purple (Widow)
Yellow (Monk)

rem-1: Traffic light Red, Yellow and Green (Blue) are the same in every country

2.25.3 Colour usage or general meaning of colour (COLOUR)

China CNA Red---- luck, healthy, high emotion, happy, emergency
Black-- low emotion, evil
White-- not healthy, unlucky, funeral, death
Hong Kong HKG Close to CNA
India IND Red--crime, danger (area)
Black--unauspicious, evil
White--sad affair, death, purity, Holiness
Orange---Patriotic
Green-- prosperity, safety, life
Yellow---happiness (human behavior)
Indonesia INA Red--- happy, angry, brave
Black---sadness evil
White--Holy
Green--young
Japan JPN Red-----danger
Yellow-----warning
Green----young/safety
Red/White stripe-----goodness
Thick Black frame---mourning
Black/White stripe---morning
Korea KOR Black-----sad/death
Red-----crime/danger
Yellow----warning
Green----Safety
Malaysia MAS Black----solemn occasion, dangerous, filthy
Red----bravery, danger, happy
Amber-----warning
Yellow-----royalty/decadence
White----purity
Philippines PHI Black----morning
Singapore SIN Same as CNA + MAS
Thailand THI Black---mourning Red,White, Blue See 2.25.2
White---Purity
Green--Good Environment

rem-1: Related standards: ISO 3864, JIS Z 9101, KS A 3501, KS A 3502, PNS 3864


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