When Colors Clash

An interesting article in the Times (now locked down, I’m afraid) on the role that color is playing in social and political revolutions around the globe.

The Ukraine revolution became known as the Orange Revolution. President Bush referred to the recent Iraqi vote the Purple Revolution, in reference to the purple-stained fingers of those who voted.

The article notes that culture plays a large role in what color is chosen for a given movement: “In the Philippines, yellow is a sign of homecoming, so Corazon Aquino’s trademark yellow dress became synonymous with the peaceful resistance that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.”

And the colors used these days are a far cry from the blacks, reds, and whites of the previous generations.

The article provides a handy color chart of the latest color/protest combinations:

    Pink: Used by Iranian advocates of women’s rights and reform.
    Yellow: Used by pro-democracy opponents of Kyrgyzstan’s president, Askar Akayev.
    Cedar: Used by anti-Syrian independece-minded Lebanese.
    Blue: Used by potential opponents of President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus.
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