Red color has a solid influence on and is a big part of English culture and history, and that fact is a well known not only by the UK citizens, but by tourists too.
This theme attracted me, too, and here is the question:
"What is it so special about the red color?"
In this project I will try to answer this question and learn as much new things associated with the topic as possible.
1) Find out the importance of red colour in England's culture and history.
1) Gather and analyze various information on the theme
2) Analyze the importance of red colour for England
3) Make a dummy of an English Telephone box
Stages of research:
1) Gathering and working with information (1 month)
2) Making a model (1 month)
The type of the Project : Informative
Chapter 1: The Rose of Tudor.
Most likely, the starting point of English love for red was the "War between the
Red and the White rose" and appearance of new national symbol of England, tied
to a new clan of monarchs taking rule over the country - Tudor Rose.
The symbol itself represents a red rose of Lancaster clan
With the white rose of York clan inside of it,
Meaning the peace and merging between the clans.
the rose is being pictured at the emblems
Of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Tudor Rose remains England's national symbol to nowadays.
Chapter 2: Red colour on the flag
Flag of England is not the Union jack, like the most people think. Union Jack is
actually the flag of the United Kingdom.
The flag of England is actually the "Saint George Flag" .
Red cross on it resembles determination, readiness to face enemies. Also, "Saint George" is the official flag of England's navy, where the canonic red cross means a challenge, more like a duel-like one.
Saint George Day is held on 23th of April. On this day locals pin a red rose - a national symbol - on top of their clothes, to make everyone see, that they are proud of their country and its symbols.
Chapter 3: Red colour in the architecture
The first thing that comes to my mind when they thing about red things in England's architecture is, of course, the famous "Routemaster" or "Doubledecker" bus, circling all over England.
One of first "Routemaster"-s.
Many people think, that the buses are painted red for aesthetic purposes, but the
Real fact is they were painted like this not to be missed in Post-Industrial England's
smog, soot from the coal-fueled home furnaces, etc.
I think, the main reason for "Routemaster"-s popularity is its unique design:
d oor-less entry sides and bright red color made it one of the most popular
England's architecture symbols painted in red.
The second most iconic England's "Red Light" is its red telephone box.
Reasons for telephone box popularity is actually thanks for pretty bad quality of
cars those years. People with their car broken had no opportunity to get help, so the
telephone was a saving move by English government .
Actually, booths were supposed to be painted with silver-ish paint, because silver
colour is one of the England's national colours.
At the end of this version of boxes was cancelled, because white-silver-ish
telephone boxes were very unlikely to see in England's almost permanent
foggy and rainy weather, and that's when a decision was made to paint them red.
The second reason for its popularity is its design, focusing on personal space and it’s handy usage while it is raining.
Almost 60% of booths were dealing loss of money to English government, so it
decided to retire most of them, but citizens, being mad about this fact, managed
to save almost 3000 of them, making them monuments of architecture and they are
standing on their places till this day.
Last, but not the least, are the 3rd England's red symbols of architecture are
First pillar boxes appeared in the middle of 19th century under Queen Victoria's
reign. Since that time they were made with a special option - telling under monarch
ruling was it built. For example, VR
means, that the post box was built
under Victoria's rulership (Victoria
Well yes, post boxes weren't red
the start, instead post boxes were just
little boxes on sticks painted in random
colors, until in 1874 they got their
canonic look. Red post boxes were flooding the streets, as mail was the main way
transfer information those years. This popular design was used thanks to John
Penfold, who actually made 9 variations of lookalike designs for post boxes.
Chapter 4: "Red coats".
Term "Red Coat" or "Red Uniform" is a historical slang for referencing
England or UK military, especially - Queen's Guard.
It is historically approved, that this term originates from somewhere around the 17th century, when the red coats were first used for military deeds. Well yes, they really were used before, but had a very "dank" tone and were hardly even recognized as red ones.
Of course, besides being comfortable and cheap, red uniform, being painted with the main English national color, really boosts a soldiers morale. Also its harder to notice blood on red uniform, boosting troops morale too.
While red uniform was introduce officially only in the 17th century, it was used before because of being cheap. Red paint, before, was pretty cheap to buy wholesale. It really jumped high in value after the English Civil War, in which rebels were using, you guess it, bright-red uniform.
Chapter 5: Meaning of word "Red"
Its a well-known fact, that English language is very rich for metaphors, aphorisms
and phrases with double-meaning. As you already know, "red" - is one of them.
One of the most popular metaphors with "red" - "Being caught red-handed",
meaning being caught simply and, guessable, at the time of doing something, For
example: "John was caught red-handed doing his homework on the lesson".
Also, "Red lights district" is used to mark a street with high levels of crime.
Red colour was always associated with rebels, revolutions etc. Maybe that's one of
the reasons of it being used so much while in Civil War.
Red ink is still used to mark budget losses and red tapes were used to point out
the papers needing instant work with or the ones causing too much trouble.
A funny phrase "Big Red Button" means something obnoxious and provocative,
a thing that attracts too much attention to it, almost forcing you to "press" it.
C ome in think of it, word "red" has the biggest amount of metaphors in English language associated with it.
A "What do people know about England red symbols" research.
With an intention to find out about our schools pupils knowledge of history we had 70 pupils interviewed about them. Following questions were asked:
1) What are the official colors of England?
2) What flower is the official one in England?
3) Why are the post pillars, telephone boxes and telephone boots painted like that?
Проанализировав результаты анкетирования, мы пришли к выводу, что большинство обучающихся знают символы Англии, но не знают их историю возникновения. Моя работа помогла узнать и проанализировать историю возникновения и значения красного цвета в жизни англичан.
After a quick analyzation of the results, we decided that most pupils acknowledge most basic things about the colors and symbols of England but do not know anything about their history.
After figuring out links of red with English history, we can honestly say, that
Englishmen's love for red colour is really justified and resembles a long history
of accepting new cultures, symbols and culture's differences.
List of used literature
Information given was gathered at public internet resources, such as:
Also, information from education-system approved history books was used to make this project go live.