With hundreds of flags around the world representing various nations, practically every color on the visible spectrum is used somewhere. However, there’s no denying that some colors are used a lot more than others. Purple, for instance, is a very rare color on national flags. But is it unheard of? Which countries actually use purple?
You may be surprised to learn that there are only three national flags that have purple in them in the whole world!
The Flag of Nicaragua
The flag currently flown by Nicaragua was adopted in 1908, but not made official until 1971. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to have any purple in it, as the flag background is composed of two blue stripes on top and bottom and a white stripe in the middle. However, there is a coat of arms of sorts in the center, which, coincidentally, includes a rainbow.
This rainbow is the only part of the Nicaraguan flag that has any purple in it. Needless to say, it’s very tiny, and you can’t even really see it unless you get up close to it. This may sound odd, but all of the flags that contain purple do so in such a manner.
The Flag of El Salvador
Much like the Nicaraguan flag, the flag of El Salvador does not appear to possess purple at first. In fact, the flag of El Salvador is almost identical to the Nicaraguan flag, with blue stripes on top and bottom and a white, horizontal middle stripe. It also has a coat of arms of sorts in the middle, which is slightly different from Nicaragua’s emblem.
However, there is still a rainbow involved in this emblem. As you may imagine, this rainbow includes a tiny amount of purple in it, making El Salvador one of the few nations in the world with purple in their flag.
The Flag of Dominica
The final flag with purple in it is the flag of Dominica. It still has a pretty small amount of purple, but used more than the other two countries. The background is green, with a yellow, black, and white striped cross dividing it into four sections. A red disk lies on top of that, with 10 stars that circle around a Sisserou Parrot.
This parrot includes a fair amount of purple feathers, making Dominica the final national flag with purple in its standard.
Why is Purple So Rare in National Flags?
Simply put, purple has been one of the most expensive and effort-intensive colors to produce for centuries. It required very rare dyes that were difficult to acquire and few people had access to them. Because of this, many countries simply couldn’t afford to use purple in their flags in large amounts.
After all, national flags are often quite numerous, and you would need a lot of purple dye, which was hard to get and very expensive. Most countries simply couldn’t justify using purple dye or couldn’t acquire it at all. Thus, their inability to use purple in flags has carried over to the modern era.