Purple's elitism originates from the scarcity and high expense of the dye used to create it. The dye, which was originally used to manufacture purple, came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre, which is now located in modern-day Lebanon.
In the ancient world, purple was so valuable that only the rich could afford it. For this reason, most national flags are white or red with blue accents. There are a few exceptions such as India and Indonesia which have flags that are mostly purple. However, these are minority flags and are often described as "bling" or "tacky" by many people.
The first recorded use of a purple flag was by Sargon II of Assyria in 714 B.C. However, it is likely that he used a black color instead.
Purple became popular again in Europe after Christopher Columbus returned from his first trip to America wearing a cloak made out of cloth imported from India. This inspired the Spanish royalty to have their own flag made with Indian fabrics too. The royal flag was yellow with a blue cross on one side and a purple dragon on the other. It is believed that this is the first American flag to be flown outside of America.
After the royal flag was adopted by other European countries, they all started using purple as its main color because it was seen as a sign of status and wealth.
For millennia, the color purple has been linked with royalty, power, and prosperity. Purple cloth was once so valuable that only rulers could afford it.
In the 16th century, King Henry VIII of England began using purple to decorate his residences and attire. This royal tradition spread across Europe and eventually America.
Today, many sports teams wear purple as a symbol of solidarity or as part of their identity. The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are two famous basketball teams that wear purple. Both were founded in the 1960s by influential businessmen who wanted to set themselves apart from their competitors.
The Kings originally wore purple as a tribute to their idol, the NBA's first superstar, Ralph "Ralph Kiner" Johnson. Before he played for the Cincinnati Royals, Ralph Kiner starred for the Philadelphia Warriors who wore purple uniforms. When he came to town, so did everyone else's team! The first four games of Sacramento's inaugural season were played against the Oakland Oaks, then known as the Boston Celtics. The Kings won all four games, scoring 100 points without a single one coming from behind the line. That's when they decided to stick with purple even after they switched leagues!
For centuries, the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre in modern-day Lebanon was the epicenter of the purple dye trade. The "Tyrian purple" of the Phoenicians originated from a type of sea snail now known as Bolinus brandaris, and it was so rare that it was worth its weight in gold. The Greeks later acquired knowledge of the dye and called it phoinikros. They were able to produce a similar color by using madder roots instead.
Purple is made from bacteria or plants that produce chemicals that affect the skin's pigmentary system. The word comes from the Greek for "purple." The best known source of purple dye is the Murex shellfish, which contains an acidic protein that reacts with copper salts to form a blue pigment. Today, synthetic dyes are used instead. Purple means royalty or prestige because this color was once found only in the clothing worn by members of the royal family or those who could afford them.
People have been coloring their hair purple for thousands of years. The first evidence of this practice comes from Egypt, where people colored their hair with indigo during ancient times. It was not until much later that other colors were added to create many different variations on purple hair. By the 16th century, Europeans had started to do the same thing, only they used violets or roses as ingredients in their dyes.