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.
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.
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, Protestantism, 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. In Asia it is an important symbolic colour of Buddhism and Hinduism.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the United States and Canada, orange regalia is associated with the field of engineering.
Princeton University, Syracuse University, and Occidental College use orange as a main color.
Flag of India (1947). The top-most colour in the flag is officially called bhagwa, or saffron. (However, to some people, it is indistinguishable from orange.) It was originally chosen by Mohandas Gandhi, and originally stood for the Hindu community in India, then for the sacrifice of the people.
Flag of Ireland (1919) The orange represents King William III, or William of Orange, and the Protestant community in Ireland.
Flag of Côte d’Ivoire (1959). The orange stands for the savannah, the fertile land in the north of the country, opposed to the green of the forests in the south.
Flag of Niger (1960). The orange is said to represent the Sahara desert in the north, and the orange disk symbolises either the sun or independence.
Flag of Sri Lanka (1950). The orange band represents the Sri Lankan Tamils, one of the three main ethnic groups in the country.
Flag of Armenia (1990). According to the Armenian Constitution, the orange (also called apricot colour) represents the creativity and hard-working nature of the Armenian people.
Flag of Bhutan (1969). The orange background represents the Buddhist spiritual tradition.
Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands. The royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau, derives its name in part from its former holding, the principality of Orange. (The title Prince of Orange is still used for the Dutch heir apparent.)
The Republic of the Orange Free State (Dutch: Oranje-Vrijstaat) was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal river, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.
Oranjemund (German for: “Mouth of Oranje”) is a town situated in the extreme southwest of Namibia, on the northern bank of the Orange River mouth.
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.
Christian democratic political ideology and political parties, which are based on Catholic social teaching and Neo-Calvinist theology
The Orange Institution is a pro-British Protestant association based in Northern Ireland.
Orange was the rallying colour of the 2004–2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine.
Orange was the colour used by the historical Liberal Party of the United Kingdom
On September 14, 2017 North America’s United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism began to use orange as part of a regarding effort.
Orange was used as a rallying colour by Israelis (such as Jewish settlers) who opposed Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 2005.
Orange ribbons are used to promote awareness and prevention of self-injury.
Orange is the party colour of several Christian democratic political parties.
Orange, or more specifically deep saffron, is the most sacred colour of Hinduism.
Hindu and Sikh flags atop mandirs and gurdwaras, respectively, are typically a saffron coloured pennant.
Saffron robes are often worn by Hindu swamis and Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition.
In Christianity, orange represents the sin of gluttony.
The “New Age Prophetess”, Alice Bailey, in her system called the Seven Rays which classifies humans into seven different metaphysical psychological types, the “fifth ray” of “Concrete Science” is represented by the colour orange. People who have this metaphysical psychological type are said to be “on the Orange Ray”.
Orange is used to symbolically represent the second (Swadhisthana) chakra.
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. 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.
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. Teams that regularly feature orange uniforms or kits are the following
Dutch national sports teams
Major League Baseball
New York Mets
San Francisco Giants
National Basketball Association
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Women’s National Basketball Association
National Football League
Indian Premier League
Kochi Tuskers Kerala
National Hockey League
Australian Football League
Greater Western Sydney Giants
Super League: Castleford Tigers
Super Rugby: Cheetahs, Jaguares, Sunwolves
A-League: Brisbane Roar
Conference Premier: Luton Town F.C.
Scottish Premier League: Dundee United
Ukrainian Premier League: FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Major League Soccer: Houston Dynamo
Bulgarian A Professional Football Group: PFC Litex Lovech
Norwegian Premier League: Aalesunds FK
Chilean football: Cobreloa, Cobresal
Canadian Football League
Gaelic Athletic Association
United Football League
Loyola Meralco Sparks F.C.
Philippine Basketball Association
NCAA Division I
Boise State Broncos
Illinois Fighting Illini
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oregon State Beavers
Source From Wikipedia