Posted by: Jack Henry | November 4, 2021

Editor’s Corner: The Final Three

Good morning! Today’s colors, from What Colors Mean in Other Cultures, are the secondary colors on the color wheel: green, purple, and orange.


Green shares many common meanings around the world, some of which include nature, ecology, environmental awareness, the military, and the color for traffic lights.

In Western cultures, green represents spring, money, freshness, inexperience, jealously, greed, and Christmas (when combined with red). Nicknamed The Emerald Isle for its luscious green countryside, green is the national color in Ireland and it’s associated with good luck, leprechauns, shamrocks, and Saint Patrick.

Most Eastern and Asian cultures relate green with new and eternal life, new beginnings, fertility, youth, health, and prosperity. And while this is true in Chinese culture, wearing a green colored hat for men is taboo because it suggests the man’s wife is cheating on him.

After gaining its freedom from Spain in the 19th century, Mexico chose to display green in its flag to represent independence.

Across many South American cultures that are rich in forests, green symbolizes death.


Royalty, wealth, power, exclusivity, and fame are common themes for the color purple across many Eastern and Western cultures. For many centuries, purple dye was extremely rare and difficult to produce because it was extracted from sea snails. As a result, purple clothing was expensive and became a status symbol among kings, queens, and other rulers.

Just as black is the traditional color for death and grieving in many cultures, purple shares the same meaning in some European nations, including the U.K. and Italy, as well as Brazil, Thailand, India, and among many Catholics. In Thailand and Brazil, purple is customarily worn alongside black when mourning of the death of a loved one, and in Brazilian culture, it is considered unlucky to wear purple when not attending a funeral or related service.

In the United States, purple—the symbol for honor and courage—is represented by the Purple Heart, the military’s highest award given to soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen for their acts of bravery.


Ever heard that adding more orange to your wardrobe will liven things up? That’s because in many Western cultures, orange is considered a fun and edgy color, and represents curiosity, trying new things, and creativity.

Certain countries also associate orange with wealth. In the Netherlands, for example, it’s the national color and represents the Dutch Royal family. But in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, orange is associated with mourning.

In Japanese and Chinese cultures, orange signifies courage, happiness, love, and good health. And in Indian cultures, it’s symbolic of fire. The orange-colored spice, saffron, is considered to be lucky and sacred.

A symbol of strength and bravery in Ukraine, orange represents a time when the country came together in 2004 and stood up to the government during one of the biggest fraudulent presidential elections in history, known as the Orange Revolution.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this voyage around the world and what colors mean to its different people.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

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  1. Well, I now understand my wife a little better….never knew why she liked orange so much…now I do.


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