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  • There are 196 countries in the world today and virtually none of them have purple on their national flag.

    世界上共有 196 個國家,卻沒有任何一個國家國旗使用紫色。

  • Throughout history, purple was never used to represent a kingdom, civilization, or Empire.


  • So what's wrong with purple?


  • It's such a popular color today.


  • Why would no country use it in their flag?


  • The answer is really quite simple.


  • Purple was just far too expensive.


  • No countries have purple on their flag because up until the 1800s, purple was worth more than its weight in gold.

    沒有國家在國旗上使用紫色是因為,直到 1800 年代,紫色價值比與其等重的黃金還要昂貴。

  • The color purple has been associated with royalty power and wealth for centuries.


  • In fact, Queen Elizabeth I forbade anyone except close members of the royal family to wear it.

    事實上, 伊莉莎白一世禁止非皇室成員的人穿戴紫色。

  • Purple's elite status stems from the rarity and cost of the dye originally used to produce it.


  • The dye initially used to make purple came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre, which is now in modern-day Lebanon.


  • Fabric traders obtained the dye from a small sea snail that was only found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean.


  • A lot of work went into producing the dye as more than 10,000 snails were needed to create just one gram of tyrian purple.


  • Since only wealthy rulers could afford to buy and wear the color, it became associated with the Imperial classes of Rome, Egypt, and Persia.


  • Purple also came to represent spirituality and holiness because the ancient Emperor's kings and queens that wore the color were often thought of as gods or descendants of the gods.


  • Sometimes, however, the dye was too expensive even for royalty.


  • Third century Roman Emperor Aurelio famously wouldn't allow his wife to buy a shawl made from tyrian purple silk because it literally cost three times its weight in gold.


  • A single pound of dye cost three pounds of gold, which is the equivalent of fifty six thousand dollars today.


  • So since the sheer price of purple was so astronomically high, no one not even the richest nations could afford to have purple on their flag.


  • The hue became more accessible to lower-class is about a century and a half ago.


  • In 1856, 18-year old English chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally created a synthetic purple compound while attempting to synthesize quinine an anti-malaria drug.

    1856 年,英國一位 18 歲的化學家 William Henry Perkin 在合成奎寧和抗瘧疾藥時,意外製造出一種紫色複合物。

  • He noticed that the compound could be used to dye fabrics, so he patented the dye, manufactured it and got filthy rich.


  • Purple dye was then mass-produced so just about everybody could afford it.


  • The elite stopped valuing purple and the status symbol faded away but the country flags remain the same.


  • Since 1900, a handful of new national flags have been designed and a few of them have opted to use purple in their flag.

    自從 1900 年代,開始有幾個新設計的國旗選用紫色。

  • So don't be making any bets just yet.


  • Hopefully you found this interesting.


  • Sometimes the simplest questions have the most fascinating answers.


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There are 196 countries in the world today and virtually none of them have purple on their national flag.

世界上共有 196 個國家,卻沒有任何一個國家國旗使用紫色。

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