Political colour

Political colour

Certain political parties or positions have become associated with different colours at different times.


*Black is primarily associated with anarchism (see anarchist symbolism).
**In the countries with a history of anti-clericalism in Europe and elsewhere in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the officials of the Catholic Church, because their vestments are often black, were called the Black International.
**In Germany and Austria, it is the colour historically associated with Christian democrats.
**Black is sometimes associated with fascism (see blackshirts)
**In the Islamic world, black flags (often with a white shahadah) are sometimes used by Islamist groups.

*Blue, particularly dark blue, is often associated with Conservative parties, originating from its use by that party of the UK.
**Light blue (azure) is used for the field of the flag of the United Nations. Though it was idealistically chosen to represent peace and hope, one use of the colour has appeared that refers to dealings with the UN in realpolitik terms, namely bluewashing.
**In the United States, since 2000 blue has been associated with the Democratic Party.

* Brown has been associated with working class Nazism, because the Sturmabteilung (commonly known as the SA) were called "brownshirts". In Europe and elsewhere in the twentieth century, fascists were sometimes called the Brown International.

* Gray was chosen by the German political writer Paul de Lagarde as the symbol of liberals in the nineteenth-century sense (or current European one), which he called the Gray International.
** The Grays - Senior citizens' interest party
** Gray is also historically associated with the Confederate States of America because of the gray Confederate uniforms.

* Green is the colour for green parties worldwide.
**Sea green was used as a symbol by members of the Levellers in 17th century Britain; for this reason, it is occasionally used to represent radical liberalism or libertarianism.
**Irish Nationalist movements have used the colour green for centuries. This colour is also used by the Irish Government.
**Green has sometimes also been linked to agrarian movements, such as the Populist Party in the US in the 1890s, and the modern day Nordic Agrarian parties.
**Green, considered the holy colour of Islam, is also used by some Islamists, such as Hamas.
*Orange is sometimes associated with Christian Democratic parties and sometimes various kinds of populist parties. Such is the case in Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Hungary, Bolivia, Canada. Following the Ukrainian 'Orange Revolution', the colour has been used by groups and organizations in the Middle East, such as in Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Bahrain.
**In the Northern Ireland orange is associated with Unionism and the Orange Order, and in the UK orange was the colour of the historical Liberal Party.
** In The Netherlands orange is linked to various right-wing and monarchist parties, because of the name Orange of the royal house, and the national association with the colour.

*Red is traditional colour of socialism and even communism; see Red flag.
**In Europe, red is associated with parties of social democracy, and often their allies within the Labour movement.
**In several Latin American countries, Red is associated with social-democrat and socialist parties.
**In the United States since 2000, it is associated with the conservative Republican Party.

*White has been linked to pacifism (as in the surrender flag) and to independent politicians like Martin Bell.
**Historically, it was associated with support for absolutist monarchists, first for supporters of the Bourbon dynasty of France, because it was the dynasty's colour. Later it was used by the Czarist Whites in the Russian Revolution of 1917, because their purpose was similar. In the civil war following the independence of Finland in 1917, white was used by the conservative and democratic forces which stood against the socialist red forces.
**In Italy it is the colour, with red, of Catholic parties, because of the symbol of the blazon "Argent, a cross Gules".

*Yellow is also associated with Judaism and the Jewish people (see also Yellow badge). In the nineteenth century in Europe, anti-Semites sometimes referred to Jews collectively as the Yellow International. This derives from the name of a German book, The Golden International.
**In much of Europe, yellow is the colour associated with liberalism/libertarianism, including the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the Liberal Democrats.

*Saffron is the colour used to represent Hindutva.citebook|title=Manufacturing Citizenship: education and nationalism in Europe, South Asia and China |author= Véronique Bénéï|year= 2005|publisher=Routledge|id=ISBN 0415364884|url= http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0415364884&id=XCUNB8koN-8C&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&ots=GqO-sD_2tp&dq=Saffronization&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html&sig=vMTwP0gLYa29-5WNCyMPyqaMGNw]

Exceptions and variations

Notable exceptions and variations to the above colour schemes are:

*In Australia, the Australian Labor Party will typically use red, and the Liberal Party of Australia typically blue, however this does conform to the above colour scheme as the "liberal" party is in reality conservative and the ALP has historically identified itself as a social-democratic party. The use is essentially the same as the use of blue and red by the British Conservative and Labour Parties. The Australian Greens use green, while a green-and-gold combination is used both by the National Party of Australia and the Australian Democrats. The colours of the former, however, are not ideological in nature, but are derived from the fact that Australia's national colours are green and gold.

* In Austria, the Social Democratic Party of Austria are traditionally branded red while the conservative, christian-democratic Austrian People's Party are associated with black. The far-right nationalist Freedom Party of Austria is light blue, and the right-wing populist Alliance for the Future of Austria uses orange.

*In Belgium, the Liberal Democrats (VLD and MR) are blue and the Christian Democrats (CD&V and CDH) are orange. The colour of the Flemish nationalists New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA) is yellow. No consistent colour is used for the right-wing nationalist Vlaams Belang, colour used in media or campaigns include white, purple, brown and yellow. Both socialist parties, PS and SP.A, use the traditional red.

*In Canada, the official colour for the social-democratic New Democratic Party is orange, while the Liberal Party of Canada uses red, the Conservative Party of Canada uses blue, and the Bloc Québécois uses a light blue, the same colour as the Quebec provincial flag.

*In Czech Republic, the new official colour for the centre-left Czech Social Democratic Party is orange. Until 2006 it was red and green colour.

* For much of the nineteenth century, the 'blues' in both France and Italy were moderate reforming conservatives, while the absolutist monarchists were whites.

* In Germany, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) are traditionally branded red while the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are black and orange. The Christian Social Union of Bavaria, regional sister party of the CDU, uses light blue. The conservative liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) are yellow, Alliance '90/The Greens are unsurprisingly green and the socialist "Die Linke" (The Left) are officially red, although given maroon or purple colours by the media in order to differentiate them from the SPD.

*In Mexico, the leftist PRD uses yellow. The Right-Wing PAN uses blue and white, the colours of the Virgin of Guadalupe, symbol of Mexican Catholicism.

*In the Netherlands, three parties use green; the centre-left Democrats 66 use light green and both the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and animal-rights party Party for the Animals (PvdD) use a darker green. Additionally, GreenLeft uses both green and red to represent its blend of ecologism and leftism. Two parties use red, the social-democrats of the Labour Party (PvdA) and the radical left Socialist Party (SP). SP uses a brighter tomato red mirroring their party logo; PvdA uses the darker red of their logo, a stylised rose and fist. The conservative liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) uses blue; a governmental coalition involving VVD and PvdA is known as a purple ("Paars") government.

*In Northern Ireland, the Unionist parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly are called the "orange block" and the Nationalist parties are the "green block".

*In Portugal, the centre-right conservative Social Democrat Party (PSD), whose name may cause confusion since it is not social-democratic party, are orange. The Socialist Party (PS) use pink as their campaign colour.

*In Taiwan, the leading groups of parties are the more Chinese nationalist Pan-Blue Coalition and the more Taiwanese independence Pan-Green Coalition. The New Party uses yellow as its party colour even though its policies are conservative; the Democratic Progressive Party uses green even though its international alignment is with the Liberal International and not the Green parties.

*In the UK (excluding Northern Ireland), where electoral rosettes are commonly worn for campaigns, the Conservatives use royal blue; Labour, red; and the Liberal Democrats gold, or amber in Scotland. The Labour Party has recently used bold red with yellow lettering in areas of majority Labour support but also more purple tones in marginal Conservative areas. With many other smaller parties choosing their own colour schemes, Independents unsurprisingly use white. The right-wing and eurosceptic UK Independence Party has chosen to use the non-aligned colour purple with yellow. Far right parties such as the British National Party are noted for using the colours of the Union Jack.
**Additionally some of the established political parties use or have used colour variations in their own locality. For instance the traditionally colour of the Penrith & the Border Conservatives is yellow, and not dark blue. Also the traditionally colour of the Warwickshire Liberals was green, and not orange/yellow.

* In the United States there is no official association between political parties and specific colours. The two major political parties use the national colours — red, white, and blue — to show their patriotism. The only common situation in which it has been necessary to assign a single colour to a party has been in the production of political maps in graphical displays of election results. In such cases, there has historically been no consistent association of particular parties with particular colours. In the weeks following the 2000 election, however, there arose the terminology of blue states and red states, in which the conservative Republican Party was associated with red and the liberal Democratic Party with blue. Political observers subsequently latched on to this association, which resulted from the use of red for Republican victories and blue for Democratic victories on the display map of a television network. This association has certainly not been consistently applied in the past: during previous presidential elections, about half of the television networks used the opposite association. In 2004, the association was mostly kept.
There is some historical use of blue for Democrats and red for Republicans — in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Texas county election boards used colour coding to help Spanish speakers and illiterates identify the parties. [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/RR/pqrsu.html] However, this system was not applied consistently in Texas and was not picked up on a national level.
. Since the 2000 election the news media have tended to use red for Republicans and blue for Democrats, especially as it relates to the electoral majority in each state, informally calling them the Red states and Blue states. The colour green is often used for the Green Party, and the colour yellow is often used for the Libertarian Party. A February 2004 article in the "New York Times" examined this issue. [http://www.uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/ARTICLES/redblue.php] .

List of colours associated with different parties in various countries


*Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ): orange
*Austrian People's Party (ÖVP): black
*Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ): blue
*The Greens – The Green Alternative: green
*Liberal Forum (LiF): yellow
*Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ): red


*Australian Democrats: orange
*Australian Greens: green
*Australian Labor Party: red and blue
*Country Liberal Party: orange, white, black
*Liberal Party of Australia: blue
*National Party of Australia: green, gold
*One Nation Party: blue, yellow


*Wa'ad: orange


*Christian Democratic and Flemish: orange
*Ecolo and Green!: green
*Flemish Liberals and Democrats (OpenVLD): navy blue, gold
*Humanist Democratic Centre: maroon and orange red
*National Front: Belgium flag colours
*New-Flemish Alliance: black and gold
*Reformist Movement: blue, yellow and magenta
*Socialist Party (francophone Belgium): red
*Socialist Party - Different: red (and black)
*Spirit: purple
*Vivant: gold and sea-green
*Vlaams Blok: yellow and black


*Union of Democratic Forces (Bulgaria): blue
*National Movement Simeon II: yellow
*Bulgarian Socialist Party: red
*National Union Attack: black
*Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria: dark blue

Republic of China

Pan-blue coalition (blue):
* Kuomintang : blue
* People First Party: orange
* New Party: yellow
Pan-green coalition (green):
* Democratic Progressive Party: green
* Taiwan Solidarity Union: light brown


*Bloc Québécois: light blue
*Canadian Action Party: blue, red
*Canadian Alliance (now defunct): green, blue
*Christian Heritage Party: purple
*Communist Party: red
*Conservative Party of Canada: blue, red
*Green Party of Canada: Green
*Liberal Party of Canada: red
*Libertarian Party: green, white
*Marijuana Party: brown, green
*Marxist-Leninist Party: violet
*New Democratic Party: orange and green
*Progressive Canadian Party: blue, red
*Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (now defunct): blue and red


*Colombian Conservative Party: Blue
*Colombian Liberal Party: Red
*Party Of The U: Green, Yellow and Red
*Radical Change Party: Red and Blue
*Alternative Democratic Pole: Yellow


*Conservative People's Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti): Green
*Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten): Red and Green
*Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiet): Red
*Social-Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre): Medium blue
*Socialist People's Party (Det Socialistiske Folkeparti): Red
*The Liberals (Venstre): Blue


*Estonian Reform Party : Blue and Yellow
*Estonian Centre Party : Green
*Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica : Blue
*Social Democratic Party : Red
*Estonian Greens : Green
*People's Union of Estonia : Blue and Gold
*Party of Estonian Christian Democrats : Blue and Red
*Estonian Independence Party : Cornflower blue


*National Coalition Party (Kansallinen Kokoomus/Nationella Samlingspartiet): Blue
*Christian Democrats (Kristillisdemokraatit/Kristdemokraterna): Blue and Orange
*The Liberals (Liberaalit/Liberalerna): Yellow
*Centre Party (Suomen Keskusta/Centern i Finland): Green
*Social Democratic Party of Finland (Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue/Finlands Socialdemokratiska Parti): Red
*Swedish People's Party (Ruotsalainen Kansanpuolue/Svenska Folkpartiet): Red and Yellow
*Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto/Vänsterförbundet): Red
*Green League (Vihreä liitto|Gröna Förbundet): Green


*Democratic Movement: orange
*French Communist Party: red
*The Greens: green
*Left Radical Party: light pink, gold
*Liberal Alternative: purple
*National Front: brown or black
*National Republican Movement: brown
*Party of the Workers: dark red
*Revolutionary Communist League: dark red
*Socialist Party: pink
*Union for a Popular Movement: blue
*Workers' Struggle: dark red


*Alliance '90/The Greens: green
*Christian Democratic Union (CDU): black
*Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU): black
*Free Democratic Party (FDP): yellow or blue and yellow
*Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD): red
*The Left: magenta or dark red or pink
*National Democratic Party: brown or black and red and white


*ND (Nea Dimokratia): blue
*PASOK (Panellinion Sosialistikon Kinima): green
*KKE (Kommounistikon Komma Ellados): red
*SYN (Synaspismos): multiple colours
*LAOS (Laikos Orthodoxos Synagermos: blue, white
*Oikologoi: green


*PUP: Green
*RPG: Yellow
*UFP: Blue

Hong Kong

*Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood: green-yellow
*Civic Party: purple
*Democratic Party: green
*League of Social Democrats: red
*The Frontier: yellow

*The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong: red-blue
*Liberal Party: sky blue, yellow, white, red


*Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ): blue, blue-white
*Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP): Blue
*Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF): green, green-white
*Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP): red
*Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union: orange


*Communists (CPI, CPI(M), etc.): red
*Hindu nationalists (Bharatiya Janata Party, RSS, Shiv Sena, etc.): saffron
*Indian National Congress (and split-offs like NCP, NTC, etc.): orange-white-green
*Bahujan Samaj Party, Republican Party of India (parties representing dalits): blue
*Rashtriya Janata Dal: green
*Janata Dal (Secular): green
*Telugu Desam Party: yellow
*Jammu and Kashmir National Conference: red
*Telangana Rashtra Samithi: pink
*Gorkha National Liberation Front: green
*Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra: green-white


*Communists and socialists (Rifondazione Comunista, Party of Italian Communists, etc.): "red".
**Socialists traditionally had the dianthus and Radicals the rose.
*Fascists (historical, still used by neo-fascist groups): "black".
*Catholic parties: "white" (secondly, red).
**Catholic and moderate parties are considered nor leftist nor rightist, but centrist.
*Neo Liberals (Forza Italia, etc.): "light blue".
*Lega Nord (autonomist) and Verdi (environmentalist): "green".

Republic of Ireland

*Fianna Fáil: green, orange
*Fine Gael: blue, green
*Green Party/Comhaontas Glas: gold, light green
*Labour Party: red
*Progressive Democrats: blue
*Sinn Féin: green
*Socialist Party: red, black


*Hadash: red
*Meretz-Yachad: green and yellow
*The Greens: green


*Free Patriotic Movement: orange
*Future Movement: blue
*Progressive Socialist Party: red
*Amal Movement: green
*Hezbollah: yellow
*lebanese Forces: navy green


*CSV: Orange
*LSAP: Red
*Democratic Party (Luxembourg): Blue
*Green party: Green

Republic of Macedonia

*Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity: red, yellow and black
*Social Democratic Union of Macedonia: blue, yellow and red
*New Social Democratic Party: blue and yellow


*PRI Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Revolutionary Institutional Party): Red, white and Green
*PRD Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Democratic Revolution Party)Yellow and Black
*PAN Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party) Blue and White
*PT Partido del Trabajo (Labour Party) Red
*PVEM Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Ecologist Green Party of Mexico) Green
*PCD Partido Convergencia para la Democracia (Democratic Convergence Party) Orange and Blue


*Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA): green, orange
*ChristianUnion: light-blue
*Democrats 66 (D66): light-green
*GreenLeft: green, red
*Labour Party (PvdA): red
*Party for the Animals (PvdD): dark green
*People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD): dark-blue
*Party for Freedom (PVV): red, white, blue
*Reformed Political Party (SGP): orange, blue
*Socialist Party (SP): tomato red


*Centre Party (Sp): Green
*Christian Democratic Party (KrF): Yellow/Orange
*Green Party: Green
*Høyre - Conservative Party of Norway (H): Blue
*Norwegian Labour Party (DNA): Red
*Progress Party (FrP): Red/White/Dark Blue
*Red Electoral Alliance (RV): Red
*Socialist Left Party (SV): Red and Green
*Venstre- Liberal Party of Norway (V): Green

New Zealand

*ACT New Zealand: yellow and blue
*Alliance: green and red
*Green Party: green
*Maori Party: red and black
*Labour Party: red
*Progressive Party: red and grey
*National Party: blue
*New Zealand First: black and white
*United Future: purple and green


*Partido Aprista Peruano APRA (Peruvian Aprista Party): Red
*Partido Popular Cristiano PPC (Christian People's Party): Green and Red
*Solidaridad Nacional (National Solidarity): Yellow
*Alianza por el Futuro (Alliance for the Future): Orange
*Peru Posible (Possible Peru): Green and Yellow


*Civic Platform: blue and orange
*Law and Justice: dark blue
*Polish Peasant Party: green


*Socialist Party (PS): pink
*Social Democratic Party (PSD): orange
*Democratic and Social Center / People's Party (CDS/PP): blue
*Portuguese Communist Party (PCP): red
*The Greens: green
*Left Bloc: red, black
*New Democracy: red, blue
*National Renewal Party (PNR): blue, red, black


*Social Democratic Party: red
*National Liberal Party : yellow, blue
*Democratic Party: orange
*Greater Romania Party: blue, yellow, red
*Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania: green, red


*Democratic Party: yellow and blue
*Democratic Party of Serbia: blue
*Serbian Radical Party: blue
*Socialist Party of Serbia: red
*Liberal Democratic Party: red

ierra Leone

*All People's Congress: red
*People's Movement for Democratic Change: orange
*Sierra Leone People's Party: green


*Saor Alba: blue and white
*Scottish Green Party: green
*Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party: blue and yellow
*Scottish Labour Party: red
*Scottish Liberal Democrats: amber
*Scottish National Party (SNP): yellow and lilac
*Scottish Socialist Party: red


*People's Party (PP): blue, orange
*Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE): red
*United Left: green
*Galician Nationalist Bloc: red, sky blue
*Basque Nationalist Party: red, green
*Canarian Coalition: yellow, blue
*Convergence and Union: navy blue
*Republican Left of Catalonia: black, orange
*Union, Progress and Democracy: magenta

ri Lanka

*Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP): blue
*United National Party (UNP): green
*Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP): red
*Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU): orange


*Alliance for Sweden: orange
**Centre Party: green
**Christian Democrats: blue and white
**Liberal People's Party: blue and orange
**Moderate Party: blue
*Green Party: green
*June List: orange
*Left Party: red
*Sweden Democrats: blue and yellow
*Swedish Social Democratic Party: red


* Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland: orange
* Evangelical People's Party of Switzerland: blue and yellow
* Free Democratic Party of Switzerland: dark blue, yellow
* Green Party of Switzerland: green
* Liberal Party of Switzerland: blue
* Social Democratic Party of Switzerland: reds
* Swiss People's Party: dark green


* Republican People's Party: red, white
* Justice and Development Party: orange, white
* Nationalist Movement Party: white, crimson
* Democratic Party: white, red
* Democratic Left Party: deep sky blue
* True Path Party: red
* Social Democratic People's Party: red and green
* Liberal Democratic Party: dark blue
* Workers' Party: red and yellow
* Motherland Party: green, formerly yellow
* Democratic People's Party: gold
* Young Party: red, white


* Party of Regions: blue
* Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc: white and red
* Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc: orange
* Communist Party of Ukraine: red
* Lytvyn Bloc: yellow
* Socialist Party of Ukraine: pink

United Kingdom

* British National Party: red, white and blue
* Conservative Party: blue
* Co-operative Party: dark grey
* Green Party of England and Wales: green
* Labour Party: red
* Left List: red or red and green
* Liberal Democrats: gold
* Monster Raving Loony Party: yellow and black primary, green and purple additional
* Scottish National Party: yellow
* Plaid Cymru: yellow
* RESPECT Renewal: green and maroon
* UK Independence Party: mauve and gold

United States

* Communist Party USA, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Vermont Progressive Party: red
* Constitution Party: red, white, and blue
* Democratic Party: No single official colour, but increasingly associated with blue (see discussion above)
* Green Party: No single official colour, but associated with green
* Libertarian Party: No single official colour, but increasingly associated with gold
* Reform Party: red and blue
* Republican Party: No single official colour, but increasingly associated with red (see discussion above)


* COPEI: green
* Chávez: red


* League of Communists of Yugoslavia: red

Shirts associated with right-wing parties

In the first half of the twentieth century, various fascist and other right-wing groups adopted political uniforms and were often nicknamed according to the colour of their shirts:
*"Blackshirts": Italian camicia nera, British Union of Fascists, German Schutzstaffel
*"Brownshirts": German Sturmabteilung
*"Blueshirts": Spanish Falange, Irish Army Comrades Association, the Italian nationalists under Luigi Federzoni and the National Syndicalists of Portugal
*"Gold shirts" of Mexico
*"Greenshirts": Kibbo Kift, or, alternately, Brazilian Integralists, also the Stahlhelm under Alfred Hugenberg and the Hungarian National Socialist Agricultural Labourers and Workers Party. Also the colour of the National Corporate Party of Ireland, the successor to the Irish Army Comrades Association and the Blueshirts.
*"Greyshirts" of South Africa
*"Silvershirts": Silver Legion of America
*"Descamisados" ("Shirtless Ones"): Argentine Peronists

See also

* Political uniform
* List of political party symbols


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