Exploring the Richness of ‘Old Glory Red’: The Exact Shade of Red on the American Flag

Ever wondered about the specific shade of red on the American flag? It’s not just any red, but a distinct hue that’s instantly recognizable worldwide. This color carries a rich history and symbolism that’s deeply embedded in the nation’s identity.

The American flag, also known as “Old Glory”, sports a vibrant red that’s more than meets the eye. This red is a symbol of valor and bravery, two virtues that are integral to the American spirit. Let’s dive into the specifics of this iconic color and its significance in the American flag.

Key Takeaways

  • The distinct shade of red used in the American flag, known as ‘Old Glory Red’, is symbolic of valor and bravery, which are essential to the American spirit.
  • This specific color was chosen by George Washington and standardized by The American Textile Colorist and the United States Flag Manufacturers Association as PMS 193 with an RGB value of (186,12,47).
  • The ‘Old Glory Red’ origins date back to the late 18th century when flag makers developed unique dyeing recipes using native plants and insects, slowly refining the process to achieve the consistent shade we know today.
  • The standardization of ‘Old Glory Red’ in 1934 was a significant move aimed to maintain uniformity across flags produced on a national level.
  • The elements of hardiness and valor represented by this red are part of the nation’s identity. Knowledge of the color’s origin deepens the respect and admiration for this symbol.
  • The ‘Old Glory Red’, though standardized now, has seen considerable variations, mirroring the journey of the nation itself – evolving, adapting, but eventually returning to its roots.

The shade of red on the American flag, known as Old Glory Red, carries with it a depth of history and symbolism. Color enthusiasts and patriots alike may explore Smithsonian Magazine for an exploration of how this particular hue was chosen and what it represents. Those curious about the technical specifications can turn to The United States Flag Code, which details the exact standards for the flag’s colors. Moreover, Pantone offers a modern interpretation, providing designers and creators with the means to accurately replicate Old Glory Red in their works.

Origin of the American Flag’s Red Color

As the story goes, the American Flag’s red, white, and blue were chosen by none other than George Washington. However, did you ever wonder about the specific shade of red used in “Old Glory”?

The red on the American flag is a particular color known as ‘Old Glory Red’. According to the standard set by The American Textile Colorist and the United States Flag Manufacturers Association, the specific shade of red used is PMS 193. The equivalent RGB value is (186,12,47). The Pantone system has been widely accepted and used to maintain consistency in color reproduction across different mediums.

Let’s breakdown those numbers:

Color SystemValue

The origins and formulation of this specific red date back to the early flag makers in the late 18th century. At first, flag makers relied on methods inherited from English dyeing traditions. Soon after revolution, American dye houses started developing their unique recipes. They used readily available native plants like bloodroot, sassafras, sumac, or even insects like cochineal for the dyeing process. Consistent shade achievement was a significant challenge, but with constant refining, they were soon able to create what we now know as ‘Old Glory Red.’

Despite advancements, variations in the red color were prevalent until the standardization in 1934 by The American Textile Colorist and the United States Flag Manufacturers Association. This move aimed to maintain uniformity across the flags produced on a national level.

With rich history intertwining symbolism and practicality, these three colors represent the nation’s spirit and identity. This specifically formulated red represents hardiness and valor. While the color itself holds significant symbolism, knowing its origin adds a further layer of respect and admiration.

So, the time you see an American flag fluttering in the wind, you’ll know the rich history of that beautiful shade of red that speaks volumes about the nation’s identity and values.

The story doesn’t end here. The American flag’s iconic colors have more stories to unravel about their history and significance. Let’s navigate through these stories of the blue and the white in “Old Glory”.

Symbolism of the Red Hue on the American Flag

When you contemplate the American flag, it would be amiss not to acknowledge the significance of its resplendent red hue, affectionately known as ‘Old Glory Red’. The folklore surrounding this potent color interweaves the very fabric of this beloved symbol of America.

The ‘Old Glory Red’, standardized as PMS 193, holds within its vibrant shade tales of hardiness and valor. Its roots run deep. Picture this – early American flag makers in the late 18th century toiling with primitive dyeing methods, using native plants and insects to produce the rich color of bravery and resilience. In the face of dire odds and ever-present danger, their unwavering courage resonates in this strong red.

Showcased against the backdrop of the white and blue on the flag, the ‘Old Glory Red’ doesn’t simply stand for courage and hardiness in a literal sense. Rather, it signifies an inherent trait of an American spirit that’s undeterred by the toughest of challenges and the gravest of adversities.

You mustn’t forget that the red, though now standardized, saw substantial variations in its foregone iterations. The journey of the red on the American flag mirrored the journey of the country itself – evolving, adapting, but ultimately returning to its roots. The standardization in 1934 by the American Textile Colorist and the United States Flag Manufacturers Association made sure that the ‘Old Glory Red’ that we behold today remains unaltered regardless of where you see it.

Yearning to dig deeper into the stories of the American flag’s iconic colors? Then you’ll certainly want to learn about the symbolisms hidden in the blue and white hues of the “Old Glory”.

The Process of Choosing the Red for the American Flag

You’re probably wondering how the iconic ‘Old Glory Red’ was chosen for the American flag. The journey to this selection was a remarkable mix of historical influences and practical necessity.

In the late 18th century, flag makers didn’t have luxury of contemporary pigments or dyes. They had to rely on primitive dyeing methods using native plants and insects. Various shades of red were thus produced, leading to diverse representations of the flag’s red stripes.

Red hue selection wasn’t an overnight decision but an evolution over time. It was only in 1934 that ‘Old Glory Red’ was formally standardized. The Cable Color Card Company played an essential role in this process. Established in 1927, the company was trusted with creating a color card that maintained consistency in the American flag’s colors.

The standardization process was meticulous. It had to ensure the selected reddish color stood for hardiness and valor, just like the American spirit. The chosen red wasn’t merely a visual preference but an embodiment of a nation’s virtues.

Embracing the diversity and reflecting resilience, ‘Old Glory Red’ has withstood the test of time. This red continues to remain a potent symbol. It doesn’t just capture the viewer’s eye, but also narrates a tale of a nation withstanding trials and tribulations.

The story of ‘Old Glory Red’ is just one piece in the tri-color tapestry of the American flag. Immerse yourself in the symbolic depths of the flag’s blue and white hues to appreciate the complexity of “Old Glory”. Unravel the hidden meanings that lie in every stitch and stripe, completing your exploration of the iconic colors.

The Significance of the Red Color in American History

Did you ever stop and ponder the importance of the red color on our striking American flag? If not, it’s time to realize that every shade of color on the flag holds a deeper meaning.

Drenched in history, the ‘Old Glory Red’ represents hardiness and valor. These two qualities are the bedrock of American values. The large field of red on the flag is more than a decorative feature, it’s a banner of courage, ready to bear the brunt of the toughest battles.

The choice of ‘Old Glory Red’ wasn’t decided on a whim. Back in the late 18th century, flag makers resorted to natural resources to dye the fabric. Given the technology limitations of the time, the shade of red varied considerably between one flag and another. Despite the inconsistencies in hue, the symbol of resilience never wavered.

But the importance of red transcends the flag. Think back to the American Revolution. Remember images and tales of the Redcoats? Yes, the British soldiers got this nickname due to their strikingly red uniforms, a choice that was strategic as much as it was aesthetic. Red is difficult to miss, acting as a psychological deterrent to foes.

It wasn’t until 1934 that the ‘Old Glory Red’ shade was standardized by the Cable Color Card Company. This move ensured that the potent symbol of the American spirit was consistent across all flags.

Next time you admire the flag, remember that the red color isn’t merely a filler. It’s an embodiment of the strength and bravery which underpin the founding values of America. Don’t forget about the blue and white hues too – what do they signify? Delve deeper to unravel how they contribute to the complexity and sentiment of “Old Glory”.


You’ve journeyed through the rich history and symbolism of the red color on the American flag. It’s not just any red, but ‘Old Glory Red’, a hue steeped in resilience and valor. From the late 18th-century flag makers utilizing natural dyes, to the standardization in 1934, it’s a color that’s evolved while still embodying the robust spirit of America. Remember, the red isn’t alone. The blue and white also tell their own tales of the nation’s complexity and sentiment. So, next time you see the American flag, take a moment to appreciate the depth of ‘Old Glory Red’ and its companions. They’re more than just colors on a flag – they’re the threads of American history.

Why is red significant on the American flag?

Red on the American flag signifies hardiness and valor, embodying the strength and courage of the American spirit. It traces its importance back to the days of the American Revolution, amplifying its historical resonance.

How was the red color on the initial American flags created?

In the late 18th century, flag makers used natural resources to dye the flag’s fabric, this led to various shades of red. Despite its variability, the color remained a steadfast symbol of resilience.

What is ‘Old Glory Red’?

‘Old Glory Red’ is the standardized red color used on the American flag. Consistent in shade, this color exemplifies a united representation of courage and strength across the nation.

When was ‘Old Glory Red’ standardized?

The Cable Color Card Company standardized ‘Old Glory Red’ in 1934 to provide a uniform shade of red for the American flag.

What do the blue and white colors signify on the American flag?

The article promulgates further learning on the meanings of blue and white on the American flag. It encourages readers to instigate a deeper delve into the complexity and sentiment of their symbolism within “Old Glory”.