Orange (colour)

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Spectral coordinates
Wavelength 590–620 nm
Frequency 505–480 THz
Gtk-dialog-info.svg    Colour coordinates
Hex triplet #FF7F00
sRGB B  (r,  g,  b)(255, 127, 0)
CMYK H  (c, m, y, k)(0, 50, 100, 0)
HSV     (h, s, v)(30°, 100%, 100%)
Source HTML Colour Chart @30
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Orange is the colour between yellow and red on the spectrum of visible light. Human eyes perceive orange when observing light with a dominant wavelength between roughly 585 and 620 nanometres. In painting and traditional colour theory, it is a secondary colour of pigments, created by mixing yellow and red. It is named after the fruit of the same name.

Color Characteristic of human visual perception

Color, or colour, is the characteristic of human visual perception described through color categories, with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple. This perception of color derives from the stimulation of cone cells in the human eye by electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum. Color categories and physical specifications of color are associated with objects through the wavelength of the light that is reflected from them. This reflection is governed by the object's physical properties such as light absorption, emission spectra, etc.

Yellow color

Yellow is the color between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm. It is a primary color in subtractive color systems, used in painting or color printing. In the RGB color model, used to create colors on television and computer screens, yellow is a secondary color made by combining red and green at equal intensity. Carotenoids give the characteristic yellow color to autumn leaves, corn, canaries, daffodils, and lemons, as well as egg yolks, buttercups, and bananas. They absorb light energy and protect plants from photodamage. Sunlight has a slight yellowish hue, due to the surface temperature of the sun.

Red color

Red is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625–740 nanometres. It is a primary color in the RGB color model and the CMYK color model, and is the complementary color of cyan. Reds range from the brilliant yellow-tinged scarlet and vermillion to bluish-red crimson, and vary in shade from the pale red pink to the dark red burgundy. The red sky at sunset results from Rayleigh scattering, while the red color of the Grand Canyon and other geological features is caused by hematite or red ochre, both forms of iron oxide. Iron oxide also gives the red color to the planet Mars. The red colour of blood comes from protein hemoglobin, while ripe strawberries, red apples and reddish autumn leaves are colored by anthocyanins.


The orange colour of carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, oranges, and many other fruits and vegetables comes from carotenes, a type of photosynthetic pigment. These pigments convert the light energy that the plants absorb from the sun into chemical energy for the plants' growth. Similarly the hues of autumn leaves are from the same pigment after chlorophyll is removed.

Carrot Root vegetable, usually orange in color

The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist. Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and was originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The most commonly eaten part of the plant is the taproot, although the stems and leaves are eaten as well. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged, more palatable, less woody-textured taproot.

Pumpkin fruit

A pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant, most commonly of Cucurbita pepo, that is round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and most often deep yellow to orange in coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. Some exceptionally large cultivars of squash with similar appearance have also been derived from Cucurbita maxima. Specific cultivars of winter squash derived from other species, including C. argyrosperma, and C. moschata, are also sometimes called "pumpkin".

Sweet potato species of plant

The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato and does not belong to the nightshade family, Solanaceae, but both families belong to the same taxonomic order, the Solanales.

In Europe and America, surveys show that orange is the colour most associated with amusement, the unconventional, extroverts, warmth, fire, energy, activity, danger, taste and aroma, the autumn and Allhallowtide seasons, as well as having long been the national colour of the Netherlands and the House of Orange. It also serves as the political colour of Christian democracy political ideology and most Christian democratic political parties. [1] In Asia it is an important symbolic colour of Buddhism and Hinduism. [2]

Autumn one of the Earths four temperate seasons, occurring between summer and winter

Autumn, also known as fall in American English and sometimes in Canadian English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September or March, when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. One of its main features is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees.

Allhallowtide triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day

Allhallowtide, Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, or the Hallowmas season, is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Saints' Eve (Halloween), All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, which last from 31 October to 2 November annually. Allhallowtide is a "time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians." The present date of Hallowmas and thus also of its vigil (Hallowe'en) was established for Rome perhaps by Pope Gregory III (731–741) and was made of obligation throughout the Frankish Empire by Louis the Pious in 835. Elsewhere, other dates were observed even later, with the date in Ireland being 20 April. In the early 11th century, the modern date of All Souls' Day was popularized, after Abbot Odilo established it as a day for the monks of Cluny and associated monasteries to pray for the dead.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

In nature and culture

Arches National Park National park in Utah, United States

Arches National Park is a national park in eastern Utah, United States. The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches are located in the park, including the well-known Delicate Arch, as well as a variety of unique geological resources and formations. The park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world.

Lifeboat (shipboard) boat used primarily as an emergency means of leaving a larger boat or ship in case of emergency

A lifeboat is a small, rigid or inflatable boat carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard a ship. Lifeboat drills are required by law on larger commercial ships. Rafts (liferafts) are also used. In the military, a lifeboat may double as a whaleboat, dinghy, or gig. The ship's tenders of cruise ships often double as lifeboats. Recreational sailors usually carry inflatable life rafts, though a few prefer small proactive lifeboats that are harder to sink and can be sailed to safety.

Arklow Town in Leinster, Ireland

Arklow is a town in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland, overlooked by Arklow Hill. It was founded by the Vikings in the ninth century. Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion. Its proximity to Dublin led to it becoming a commuter town with a population of 14,353 as of the 2016 census.


The colour orange is named after the appearance of the ripe orange fruit. [3] The word comes from the Old French orange, from the old term for the fruit, pomme d'orange. The French word, in turn, comes from the Italian arancia, [4] [5] based on Arabic nāranj, derived from the Sanskrit naranga. [6] The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512, [7] [8] in a will now filed with the Public Record Office.

Orange (fruit) citrus fruit

The orange is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae. It is also called sweet orange, to distinguish it from the related Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange. The sweet orange reproduces asexually ; varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations.

Sanskrit ancient Indian language

Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions.

Public Record Office national archive service of the United Kingdom from 1838 until 2003

The Public Record Office, Chancery Lane in the City of London, was the guardian of the national archives of the United Kingdom from 1838 until 2003, when it was merged with the Historical Manuscripts Commission to form The National Archives, based at Kew. It was under the control of the Master of the Rolls, a senior judge. The Public Record Office still exists as a legal entity, as the enabling legislation has not been modified.

Prior to this word being introduced to the English-speaking world, saffron already existed in the English language. [9] Crog also referred to the saffron colour, so that orange was also referred to as ġeolurēad (yellow-red) for reddish orange, or ġeolucrog (yellow-saffron) for yellowish orange. [10] [11] [12] Alternatively, orange things were sometimes described as red such as red deer, red hair, the Red Planet and robin redbreast.

Red deer Species of mammal

The red deer is one of the largest deer species. The red deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, Iran, parts of western Asia, and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Morocco and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa. Red deer have been introduced to other areas, including Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Peru, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. In many parts of the world, the meat (venison) from red deer is used as a food source.

Red hair Hair color

Red hair occurs naturally in one to two percent of the human population, appearing with greater frequency among people of northern or western European ancestry and lesser frequency in other populations. It is most common in individuals homozygous for a recessive allele on chromosome 16 that produces an altered version of the MC1R protein.

Mars Fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war, and is often referred to as the "Red Planet" because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance that is distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.

History and art

In ancient Egypt, artists used an orange mineral pigment called realgar for tomb paintings, as well as other uses. It was also used later by Medieval artists for the colouring of manuscripts. Pigments were also made in ancient times from a mineral known as orpiment. Orpiment was an important item of trade in the Roman Empire and was used as a medicine in China although it contains arsenic and is highly toxic. It was also used as a fly poison and to poison arrows. Because of its yellow-orange colour, it was also a favourite with alchemists searching for a way to make gold, in both China and the West.

Before the late 15th century, the colour orange existed in Europe, but without the name; it was simply called yellow-red. Portuguese merchants brought the first orange trees to Europe from Asia in the late 15th and early 16th century, along with the Sanskrit naranga, which gradually became part of several European languages: "naranja" in Spanish, "laranja" in Portuguese, and "orange" in English.

House of Orange

The House of Orange-Nassau was one of the most influential royal houses in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. It originated in 1163 the tiny Principality of Orange, a feudal state of 108 square miles (280 km2) north of Avignon in southern France. The Principality of Orange took its name not from the fruit, but from a Roman-Celtic settlement on the site which was founded in 36 or 35 BC and was named Arausio, after a Celtic water god; [13] however, the name may have been slightly altered, and the town associated with the colour, because it was on the route by which quantities of oranges were brought from southern ports such as Marseilles to northern France.

The family of the Prince of Orange eventually adopted the name and the colour orange in the 1570s. [14] The colour came to be associated with Protestantism, due to participation by the House of Orange on the Protestant side in the French Wars of Religion. One member of the house, William I of Orange, organised the Dutch resistance against Spain, a war that lasted for eighty years, until the Netherlands won its independence. The House's arguably most prominent member, William III of Orange, became King of England in 1689, after the downfall of the Catholic James II.

Due to William III, orange became an important political colour in Britain and Europe. William was a Protestant, and as such he defended the Protestant minority of Ireland against the majority Roman Catholic population. As a result, the Protestants of Ireland were known as Orangemen. Orange eventually became one of the colours of the Irish flag, symbolising the Protestant heritage. His rebel flag became the forerunner of The Netherland's modern flag. [14]

When the Dutch settlers of South Africa rebelled against the British in the late 19th century, they organised what they called the Orange Free State. In the United States, the flag of the City of New York has an orange stripe, to remember the Dutch colonists who founded the city. William of Orange is also remembered as the founder of the College of William & Mary, and Nassau County in New York is named after the House of Orange-Nassau.

18th and 19th century

In the 18th century orange was sometimes used to depict the robes of Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance; her name came from the pomon, the Latin word for fruit. Oranges themselves became more common in northern Europe, thanks to the 17th century invention of the heated greenhouse, a building type which became known as an orangerie. The French artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard depicted an allegorical figure of "inspiration" dressed in orange.

In 1797 a French scientist Louis Vauquelin discovered the mineral crocoite, or lead chromate, which led in 1809 to the invention of the synthetic pigment chrome orange. Other synthetic pigments, cobalt red, cobalt yellow, and cobalt orange, the last made from cadmium sulfide plus cadmium selenide, soon followed. These new pigments, plus the invention of the metal paint tube in 1841, made it possible for artists to paint outdoors and to capture the colours of natural light.

In Britain orange became highly popular with the Pre-Raphaelites and with history painters. The flowing red-orange hair of Elizabeth Siddal, a prolific model and the wife of painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, became a symbol of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Lord Leighton, the president of the Royal Academy, produced Flaming June , a painting of a sleeping young woman in a bright orange dress, which won wide acclaim. Albert Joseph Moore painted festive scenes of Romans wearing orange cloaks brighter than any the Romans ever likely wore. In the United States, Winslow Homer brightened his palette with vivid oranges.

In France painters took orange in an entirely different direction. In 1872 Claude Monet painted Impression, Sunrise , a tiny orange sun and some orange light reflected on the clouds and water in the centre of a hazy blue landscape. This painting gave its name to the impressionist movement.

Orange became an important colour for all the impressionist painters. They all had studied the recent books on colour theory, and they know that orange placed next to azure blue made both colours much brighter. Auguste Renoir painted boats with stripes of chrome orange paint straight from the tube. Paul Cézanne did not use orange pigment, but created his own oranges with touches of yellow, red and ochre against a blue background. Toulouse-Lautrec often used oranges in the skirts of dancers and gowns of Parisiennes in the cafes and clubs he portrayed. For him it was the colour of festivity and amusement.

The post-impressionists went even further with orange. Paul Gauguin used oranges as backgrounds, for clothing and skin colour, to fill his pictures with light and exoticism. But no other painter used orange so often and dramatically as Vincent van Gogh. who had shared a house with Gauguin in Arles for a time. For Van Gogh orange and yellow were the pure sunlight of Provence. He created his own oranges with mixtures of yellow, ochre and red, and placed them next to slashes of sienna red and bottle green, and below a sky of turbulent blue and violet. He put an orange moon and stars in a cobalt blue sky. He wrote to his brother Theo of "searching for oppositions of blue with orange, of red with green, of yellow with violet, searching for broken colours and neutral colours to harmonize the brutality of extremes, trying to make the colours intense, and not a harmony of greys." [15]

20th and 21st centuries

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the colour orange had highly varied associations, both positive and negative.

The high visibility of orange made it a popular colour for certain kinds of clothing and equipment. During the Second World War, US Navy pilots in the Pacific began to wear orange inflatable life jackets, which could be spotted by search and rescue planes. After the war, these jackets became common on both civilian and naval vessels of all sizes, and on aircraft that flew over water. Orange was also widely worn by workers on highways and by cyclists to avoid being hit.

A herbicide called Agent Orange was widely sprayed from aircraft by the Royal Air Force during the Malayan Emergency and the US Air Force during the Vietnam War to remove the forest and jungle cover beneath which enemy combatants were believed to be hiding, and to expose their supply routes. The chemical was not actually orange, but took its name from the colour of the steel drums in which it was stored. Agent Orange was toxic, and was later linked to birth defects and other health problems.

Orange also had and continues to have a political dimension. Orange serves as the colour of Christian democratic political ideology, which is based on Catholic social teaching and Neo-Calvinist theology; Christian democratic political parties came to prominence in Europe and the Americas after World War II. [16] [1]

In Ukraine in November–December 2004, it became the colour of the Orange Revolution, a popular movement which carried activist and reformer Viktor Yushchenko into the presidency. [17] In parts of the world, especially Northern Ireland, the colour is associated with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation and relatedly, Orangemen, marches and other social and political activities, with the colour orange being associated with Protestantism similar to the Netherlands.



In traditional colour theory, orange is a range of colours between red and yellow Kleurenovergang van rood naar geel.png
In traditional colour theory, orange is a range of colours between red and yellow

In optics, orange is the colour seen by the eye when looking at light with a wavelength between approximately 585–620  nm. It has a hue of 30° in HSV colour space.

In the traditional colour wheel used by painters, orange is the range of colours between red and yellow, and painters can obtain orange simply by mixing red and yellow in various proportions; however these colours are never as vivid as a pure orange pigment. In the RGB colour model (the system used to create colours on a television or computer screen), orange is generated by combining high intensity red light with a lower intensity green light, with the blue light turned off entirely. Orange is a tertiary colour which is numerically halfway between gamma-compressed red and yellow, as can be seen in the RGB colour wheel.

Regarding painting, blue is the complementary colour to orange. As many painters of the 19th century discovered, blue and orange reinforce each other. The painter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo that in his paintings, he was trying to reveal "the oppositions of blue with orange, of red with green, of yellow with violet ... trying to make the colours intense and not a harmony of grey". [18] In another letter he wrote simply, "there is no orange without blue." [19] Van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other impressionist and post-impressionist painters frequently placed orange against azure or cobalt blue, to make both colours appear brighter.

The actual complement of orange is azure – a colour that is one quarter of the way between blue and green on the colour spectrum. The actual complementary colour of true blue is yellow. Orange pigments are largely in the ochre or cadmium families, and absorb mostly greenish-blue light.

(See also shades of orange).

Pigments and dyes

Other orange pigments include:

Why carrots, pumpkins, oranges and autumn leaves are orange

The orange colour of carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, oranges, and many other fruits and vegetables comes from carotenes, a type of photosynthetic pigment. These pigments convert the light energy that the plants absorb from the sun into chemical energy for the plants' growth. The carotenes themselves take their name from the carrot. [23] Autumn leaves also get their orange colour from carotenes. When the weather turns cold and production of green chlorophyll stops, the orange colour remains.

Before the 18th century, carrots from Asia were usually purple, while those in Europe were either white or red. Dutch farmers bred a variety that was orange; according to some sources, as a tribute to the stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland, William of Orange. [24] The long orange Dutch carrot, first described in 1721, is the ancestor of the orange horn carrot, one of the most common types found in supermarkets today. It takes its name from the town of Hoorn, in the Netherlands.


Orange is traditionally associated with the autumn season, with the harvest and autumn leaves. The flowers, like orange fruits and vegetables and autumn leaves, get their colour from the photosynthetic pigments called carotenes.



Orange is a very common colour of fruits, vegetables, spices, and other foods in many different cultures. As a result, orange is the colour most often associated in western culture with taste and aroma. [25] Orange foods include peaches, apricots, mangoes, carrots, shrimp, salmon roe, and many other foods. Orange colour is provided by spices such as paprika, saffron and curry powder. In the United States, with Halloween on 31 October, and in North America with Thanksgiving in October (Canada) and November (US) orange is associated with the harvest colour, and also is the colour of the carved pumpkins, or jack-o-lanterns, used to celebrate the holiday.

Food colourings

Nacho cheese Doritos, like many popular snack foods, contain Yellow 6, Yellow 5 and Red 40 synthetic food colour. Doritos.jpg
Nacho cheese Doritos, like many popular snack foods, contain Yellow 6, Yellow 5 and Red 40 synthetic food colour.
Wrapped slices of American cheese are now often coloured with annatto, a natural food colour made from the seeds of the achiote tree. Wrapped American cheese slices.jpg
Wrapped slices of American cheese are now often coloured with annatto, a natural food colour made from the seeds of the achiote tree.

People associate certain colours with certain flavours, and the colour of food can influence the perceived flavour in anything from candy to wine. [26] Since orange is popularly associated with good flavour, many companies add orange food colouring to improve the appearance of their packaged foods. Orange pigments and dyes, synthetic or natural, are added to many orange sodas and juices, cheeses (particularly cheddar cheese, Gloucester cheese, and American cheese); snack foods, butter and margarine; breakfast cereals, ice cream, yoghurt, jam and candy. It is also often added to children's medicine, and to chicken feed to make the egg yolks more orange.

The United States Government and the European Union certify a small number of synthetic chemical colourings to be used in food. These are usually aromatic hydrocarbons, or azo dyes, made from petroleum. The most common ones are:

Because many consumers are worried about possible health consequences of synthetic dyes, some companies are beginning to use natural food colours. Since these food colours are natural, they do not require any certification from the Food and Drug Administration. The most popular natural food colours are:

Culture, associations and symbolism


In Confucianism, the religion and philosophy of ancient China, orange was the colour of transformation. In China and India, the colour took its name not from the orange fruit, but from saffron, the finest and most expensive dye in Asia. According to Confucianism, existence was governed by the interaction of the male active principle, the yang, and the female passive principle, the yin. Yellow was the colour of perfection and nobility; red was the colour of happiness and power. Yellow and red were compared to light and fire, spirituality and sensuality, seemingly opposite but really complementary. Out of the interaction between the two came orange, the colour of transformation. [27]

Hinduism and Buddhism

A wide variety of colours, ranging from a slightly orange yellow to a deep orange red, all simply called saffron, are closely associated with Hinduism and Buddhism, and are commonly worn by monks and holy men across Asia.

In Hinduism, the divinity Krishna is commonly portrayed dressed in yellow or yellow orange. Yellow and saffron are also the colours worn by sadhu, or wandering holy men in India.

In Buddhism orange (or more precisely saffron) was the colour of illumination, the highest state of perfection. [28] The saffron colours of robes to be worn by monks were defined by the Buddha himself and his followers in the 5th century BC. The robe and its colour is a sign of renunciation of the outside world and commitment to the order. The candidate monk, with his master, first appears before the monks of the monastery in his own clothes, with his new robe under his arm. and asks to enter the order. He then takes his vows, puts on the robes, and with his begging bowl, goes out to the world. Thereafter, he spends his mornings begging and his afternoons in contemplation and study, either in a forest, garden, or in the monastery. [29]

According to Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, the robe dye is allowed to be obtained from six kinds of substances: roots and tubers, plants, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits. The robes should also be boiled in water a long time to get the correctly sober colour. Saffron and ochre, usually made with dye from the curcuma longa plant or the heartwood of the jackfruit tree, are the most common colours. The so-called forest monks usually wear ochre robes and city monks saffron, though this is not an official rule. [30]

The colour of robes also varies somewhat among the different "vehicles," or schools of Buddhism, and by country, depending on their doctrines and the dyes available. The monks of the strict Vajrayana, or Tantric Buddhism, practised in Tibet, wear the most colourful robes of saffron and red. The monks of Mahayana Buddhism, practised mainly in Japan, China and Korea, wear lighter yellow or saffron, often with white or black. Monks of Hinayana Buddhism, practised in Southeast Asia, usually wear ochre or saffron colour. Monks of the forest tradition in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia wear robes of a brownish ochre, dyed from the wood of the jackfruit tree. [29] [31]

Colour of amusement

In Europe and America orange and yellow are the colours most associated with amusement, frivolity and entertainment. In this regard, orange is the exact opposite of its complementary colour, blue, the colour of calm and reflection. Mythological paintings traditionally showed Bacchus (known in Greek mythology as Dionysus), the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy, dressed in orange. Clowns have long worn orange wigs. Toulouse-Lautrec used a palette of yellow, black and orange in his posters of Paris cafes and theatres, and Henri Matisse used an orange, yellow and red palette in his painting, the Joy of Living. [32]

Colour of visibility and warning

Orange is the colour most easily seen in dim light or against the water, making it, particularly the shade known as safety orange, the colour of choice for life rafts, life jackets or buoys. Highway temporary signs about construction or detours in the United States are orange, because of its visibility and its association with danger.

It is worn by people wanting to be seen, including highway workers and lifeguards. Prisoners are also sometimes dressed in orange clothing to make them easier to see during an escape. Lifeguards on the beaches of Los Angeles County, both real and in television series, wear orange swimsuits to make them stand out. Orange astronaut suits have the highest visibility in space, or against blue sea. An aircraft's two types of "black box," or flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, are actually bright orange, so they can be found more easily. In some cars, connectors related to safety systems, such as the airbag, may be coloured orange.

The Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance of San Francisco Bay is painted international orange to make it more visible in the fog. Next to red, it is the colour most popular for extroverts, and as a symbol of activity. [33]

Orange is sometimes used, like red and yellow, as a colour warning of possible danger or calling for caution. A skull against an orange background means a toxic substance or poison.

In the colour system devised by the US Department of Homeland Security to measure the threat of terrorist attack, an orange level is second only to a red level. The US Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices specifies orange for use in temporary and construction signage.


Selected flags


Contemporary political and social movements

Because of its symbolic meaning as the orange colour of activity, orange is often used as the colour of political and social movements.


(See Orange in Hinduism and Buddhism above)

Metaphysics and Occultism

In the military

In the United States Army, orange has traditionally been associated with the dragoons, the mounted infantry units which eventually became the US Cavalry. The 1st Cavalry Regiment was founded in 1833 as the United States Dragoons. The modern coat of arms of the 1st Cavalry features the colour orange and orange-yellow shade called dragoon yellow, the colours of the early US dragoon regiments. [41] The US Signal Corps, founded at the beginning of the American Civil War, adopted orange and white as its official colours in 1872. Orange was adopted because it was the colour of a signal fire, historically used at night while smoke was used during the day, to communicate with distant army units.

In the Indonesian Air Force, the Air force infantry and special forces corps known as Paskhas uses Orange as their beret colour.

Corporate brands

Several corporate brands use orange, such as Blogger, Fanta, FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline, Gulf, Hankook, Harley-Davidson, ING, Jägermeister, Nickelodeon, Orange, the Women's National Basketball Association, The Home Depot and TNT.


Orange, because of its common association with activity and visibility, is a popular colour for sports teams.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Reuchamps, Min (17 December 2014). Minority Nations in Multinational Federations: A Comparative Study of Quebec and Wallonia. Routledge. p. 140. ISBN   9781317634720.
  2. Eva Heller, Psychologie de la couleur: effets et symboliques, pp. 149–158
  3. Paterson, Ian (2003). A Dictionary of Colour: A Lexicon of the Language of Colour (1st paperback ed.). London: Thorogood (published 2004). p. 280. ISBN   978-1-85418-375-0. OCLC   60411025 {{inconsistent citations}}
  4. "orange - Origin and meaning of orange by Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  5. "orange n.1 and adj.1". Oxford English Dictionary online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-30.(subscription required)
  6. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition, 2002.
  7. "orange colour – orange color, n. (and adj.)". Oxford English Dictionary. OED. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  8. Maerz, Aloys John; Morris Rea Paul (1930). "A Dictionary of Color". New York: McGraw-Hill: 200{{inconsistent citations}}
  9. "Saffron - Define Saffron at". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  10. Kenner, T.A. (2006). Symbols and their hidden meanings. New York: Thunders Mouth. p. 11. ISBN   978-1-56025-949-7.
  11. Biggam, C. P; Biggam, Carole Patricia (2012-03-29). The Semantics of Colour. ISBN   9780521899925 . Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  12. Caie, Graham D; Hough, Carole; Wotherspoon, Irené (2006). The Power of Words. ISBN   978-9042021211 . Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  13. Bunson, Matthew (1995). A Dictionary of the Roman Empire. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 23. ISBN   978-0-19-510233-8.
  14. 1 2 3 Grovier, Kelly. "The toxic colour that comes from volcanoes" . Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  15. Vincent van Gogh, Lettres a Theo, p. 184.
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Related Research Articles

Black The darkest shade, resulting from the absence or complete absorption of light. Like white and grey, it has no hue

Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, literally a color without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness, while white represents light. Black and white have often been used to describe opposites; particularly truth and ignorance, good and evil, the Dark Ages versus Age of Enlightenment. Since the Middle Ages, black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates.

Blue A primary colour between purple and green

Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB colour model. It lies between violet and green on the spectrum of visible light. The eye perceives blue when observing light with a dominant wavelength between approximately 450 and 495 nanometres. Most blues contain a slight mixture of other colors; azure contains some green, while ultramarine contains some violet. The clear daytime sky and the deep sea appear blue because of an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering. An optical effect called Tyndall scattering explains blue eyes. Distant objects appear more blue because of another optical effect called aerial perspective.

Carotene organic pigment

The term carotene (also carotin, from the Latin carota, "carrot") is used for many related unsaturated hydrocarbon substances having the formula C40Hx, which are synthesized by plants but in general cannot be made by animals (with the exception of some aphids and spider mites which acquired the synthesizing genes from fungi). Carotenes are photosynthetic pigments important for photosynthesis. Carotenes contain no oxygen atoms. They absorb ultraviolet, violet, and blue light and scatter orange or red light, and (in low concentrations) yellow light.

Green color; additive primary color; visible between blue and yellow

Green is the color between blue and yellow on the visible spectrum. It is evoked by light which has a dominant wavelength of roughly 495–570 nm. In subtractive color systems, used in painting and color printing, it is created by a combination of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; in the RGB color model, used on television and computer screens, it is one of the additive primary colors, along with red and blue, which are mixed in different combinations to create all other colors. By far the largest contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll, the chemical by which plants photosynthesize and convert sunlight into chemical energy. Many creatures have adapted to their green environments by taking on a green hue themselves as camouflage. Several minerals have a green color, including the emerald, which is colored green by its chromium content.

Violet (color) color

Violet is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light between blue and the invisible ultraviolet. Violet color has a dominant wavelength of approximately 380-450 nanometers. Light with a shorter wavelength than violet but longer than X-rays and gamma rays is called ultraviolet. In the color wheel historically used by painters, it is located between blue and purple. On the screens of computer monitors and television sets, a color which looks similar to violet is made, with the RGB color model, by mixing red and blue light, with the blue twice as bright as the red. This is not true violet, for it does not match the color of a single wavelength shorter than that of blue light.

Purple Range of colors with the hues between blue and red

Purple is a color intermediate between blue and red. It is similar to violet, but unlike violet, which is a spectral color with its own wavelength on the visible spectrum of light, purple is a secondary color made by combining red and blue. The complementary color of purple is yellow.

Brown color

Brown is a composite color. In the CMYK color model used in printing or painting, brown is made by combining red, black, and yellow, or red, yellow, and blue. In the RGB color model used to project colors onto television screens and computer monitors, brown is made by combining red and green, in specific proportions. In painting, brown is generally made by adding black to orange. Mixing red-green-blue pigments makes mud color. The brown color is seen widely in nature, in wood, soil, human hair color, eye color and skin pigmentation. Brown is the color of dark wood or rich soil. According to public opinion surveys in Europe and the United States, brown is the least favorite color of the public; the color is most often associated with plainness, the rustic and poverty.

Food coloring substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink

Food coloring, or color additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. They come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels, and pastes. Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. Food colorants are also used in a variety of non-food applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home craft projects, and medical devices.

Pink any of the colors between bluish red (purple) and red, of medium to high brightness and of low to moderate saturation

Pink is a pale red color that is named after a flower of the same name. It was first used as a color name in the late 17th century. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the color most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and the romantic. A combination of pink and white is associated with chastity and innocence, whereas a combination of pink and black links to eroticism and seduction.

Complementary colors pairs of colors which, when combined, cancel each other out

Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined or mixed, cancel each other out by producing a grayscale color like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those two colors. Complementary colors may also be called "opposite colors."

Political colour

Political colours are colours used to represent a political party, either officially or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries while the colour orange symbolizes Christian democratic political ideology. However, the political associations of a given colour vary from country to country: red is also the colour associated with the conservative Republican Party in the United States. Politicians making public appearances will often identify themselves by wearing rosettes, flowers or ties in the colour of their political party.

Grey intermediate color between black and white; color of a cloud-covered sky, ash and lead

Grey or gray is an intermediate color between black and white. It is a neutral color or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color "without color," because it can be composed of black and white. It is the color of a cloud-covered sky, of ash and of lead.

Mushy peas thick green lumpy mash of peas popular in the United Kingdom

Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water with sodium bicarbonate, then rinsed in fresh water and simmered with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick green lumpy mash. Sometimes mint is used as a flavouring. Throughout the British Isles they are a traditional accompaniment to fish and chips. In Northern England they are commonly served as part of the popular snack of pie and peas and are considered to be a part of traditional British cuisine. Mushy peas can also be bought ready prepared in tin cans. They are sometimes also packed into a ball, deep-fried in batter, and served as a pea fritter.

Scarlet (color) color shade of bright red

Scarlet is a brilliant red color with a tinge of orange. In the spectrum of visible light, and on the traditional color wheel, it is one-quarter of the way between red and orange, slightly less orange than vermilion.

Gamboge is a partially transparent deep saffron to mustard yellow pigment. It is used to dye Buddhist monks' robes because the color is a deep tone of saffron, the traditional color used for the robes of Theravada Buddhist monks.

Saffron is an orange color, resembling the color of the tip of the saffron crocus thread, from which the spice saffron is derived.

Shades of red colors that are variations of red

Varieties of the color red may differ in hue, chroma or lightness, or in two or three of these qualities. Variations in value are also called tints and shades, a tint being a red or other hue mixed with white, a shade being mixed with black. A large selection of these various colors is shown below.

White color

White is the lightest color and is achromatic. It is the color of fresh snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and computer screens is created by a mixture of red, blue and green light.