Encyclopedia > Purple

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Purple is any of a group of colours intermediate between blue and red. On a chromaticity diagram, the straight line connecting the extreme spectral colours (red and violet) is known as the line of purples (or purple boundary); it represents one limit of human colour perception.


Purple sometimes symbolizes royalty, dating back to Roman times, when clothing dyed with Tyrian purple was limited to the upper classes.

Purple as one of the liturgical colours in Christian symbolism can express sorrow and mourning.

A light purple or lavender often symbolises feminism.

In politics in the Netherlands, purple means a government coalition of right-liberals and socialists (symbolized by blue and red, respectively), as opposed to the more common coalitions of the Christian center-party with one of the other two. From 1994-2002 there have been two purple cabinets, see also Politics of the Netherlands and Paars (Dutch word for 'purple').

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