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What Makes a Color a Legend?

What Makes a Color a Legend?

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Published by jadito
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Published by: jadito on May 06, 2007
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01/01/2013

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 Why is Red the International Color for Stop?
Stop signs originated in Detroit, Michigan in 1915. The first had black letters on a white background and were somewhat smaller than the modern one. In 1924, the sign changed to black on yellow. In 1954 the US Federal Highway Administration (FHA) published the TheManual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). It was in this manual that the stopsign was standardized as red with white type.The color coding for stop goes a bit further back. Red became a color connected with stop when the first primitive railroad signaling devices were developed in the 1830s and 1840s.Inittialy red meant “stop,” green meant “caution,” and clear (i.e., white) meant “go.” They later figured out that Go as a white lead was problomatic when confused with other lights. 
 Why is the US Dollar Green?
The dollar (often represented by the dollar sign: “$”) is the name of the official currency inseveral countries, dependencies and other regions. In this instance we are referring to the USDollar.The first general circulation of paper money by the federal government occurred in 1861.Pressed to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue non-interest- bearing Demand Notes. These notes acquired the nickname “greenback” because of theircolor. When the small currency notes in use today were first introduced in 1929, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) continued using green ink. There were three reasons for thisdecision. First, pigment of that color was readily available in large quantity. Second, the color was high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes. Finally, the publicpsychologically identified the color green with the strong and stable credit of theGovernment. There is no definite reason green was chosen originally for our currency notes.
 
Not All Green Anymore…
The most noticeable difference in the new designs is the introduction of subtle backgroundcolors, which makes it more burdensome for potential counterfeiters because it addscomplexity to the note. The addition of color also makes it easier to distinguish betweendenominations because different background colors are used for each denomination.“Despite the addition of color, the redesigned notes preserve the distinct size, look and feel of traditional American currency – the world’s most familiar and circulated currency.” 
 Why is Pink a Girl Color and Blue a Boy Color?
 According to the website “Gender Specific Colors,” it would seem that assigning color togender is mostly a 20th century trait. It would also seem that at one time, the colorassociations were reversed when color first came into use as a gender identifier.In fact, this reversal of what we consider “normal” was considered conventional, even in theearly 20th century.“At one point pink was considered more of a boy’s color, (as a watered-down red, which is afierce color) and blue was more for girls. The associate of pink with bold, dramatic red clearly affected its use for boys. An American newspaper in 1914 advised mothers, “If you like thecolor note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are afollower of convention.” [The Sunday Sentinal, March 29, 1914.]“There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule ispink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided andstronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, isprettier for the girl.” [Ladies Home Journal, June, 1918] According to Jo B. Paoletti and Carol Kregloh, “The Children’s Department,” in ClaudiaBrush Kidwell and Valerie Steele, ed., Men and Women: Dressing the Part, (SmithsonianInstitution Press, 1989). - In the United States: “The current pink for girls and blue for boys wasn’t uniform until the 1950’s. 
 Why are Republicans Red and Democrats Blue?
 
Prior to the 2000 presidential election, there was no universally recognized color scheme torepresent political parties in the US. Color-based schemes became widespread with theadoption of color television in the 1960s and nearly ubiquitous with the advent of color innewspapers. A three-color scheme — red, white and blue, the colors of the U.S. flag — makessense, and the third color, white, is useful in depicting maps showing states that are“undecided” in the polls and in election-night television coverage.Early on, the most common—though again, not universal—color scheme was to use red forDemocrats and blue for Republicans. This was the color scheme employed by NBC—DavidBrinkley famously referred to the 1984 map showing Reagan’s 49-state landslide as a “sea of  blue”, but this color scheme was also employed by most newsmagazines. CBS during thissame period, however, used the opposite scheme—blue for Democrats, red for Republicans. ABC was less consistent than its elder network brothers; in at least two presidential electionsduring this time before the emergence of cable news outlets, ABC used yellow for one majorparty and blue for the other. As late as 1996, there was still no universal association of onecolor with one party.But in 2000, for the first time, all major media outlets used the same colors for each party:Red for Republicans, blue for Democrats. Partly as a result of this first-time universal color-coding, the terms Red States and Blue States entered popular usage in the weeks followingthe 2000 presidential election. Additionally, the closeness of the disputed election kept thecolored maps in the public view for longer than usual, and red and blue thus became fixed inthe media and in many people’s minds.[2] Journalists began to routinely refer to “blue states”and “red states” even before the 2000 election was settled. After the results were final, journalists stuck with the color scheme, such as The Atlantic’s cover story by David Brooks inthe December 2001 issue entitled, “One Nation, Slightly Divisible.” Thus red and blue becamefixed in the media and in many people’s minds despite the fact that no “official” color choiceshad been made by the parties.The choice of colors in this divide is counter-intuitive to many international observers, asthroughout the world, red is commonly the designated color for parties representing labor,communist, and/or liberal interests[5][6], which in the United States would be more closely correlated with the Democratic Party. Similarly, blue is used in these countries to depictconservative parties which in the case of the United States would be a color more suitable forthe Republicans. For example, in Canada party colours are deeply ingrained and historic andhave been unchanged during the Twentieth Century. The Liberal Party of Canada has longused red and the Conservative Party of Canada has long used blue, and in fact the phrasesLiberal red and Tory blue are a part of the national lexicon, as is Red Tory, denotingConservative members who are social moderates. Similarly, the symbol of Britain’s LabourParty is a red rose (and the socialist song ‘The Red Flag’ is still sung at party conferences), while the British Conservatives are traditionally associated with the colour blue. However, inthe United States the term “blue collar” is applied to working people and may be associated with organized labor, which is generally supportive of the Democratic Party.

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