What Does the Color Orange Mean?

Orange means creativity and joy, passion and warmth, but it can also mean a variety of other things depending on the context. The color orange is a blend of yellow and red. Yellow is often connected with happiness and exhilaration, while red is affiliated with energy, danger and warning. So a mixture of the two primary colors usually evokes either a very positive response from people or a distinctly negative one.

In different parts of the world, the color orange has varied meanings. It is the national color of the Netherlands, and in Ireland, people associate orange with the reign of William of Orange, a rebel leader in the mid-1500's who became known as "father of the country." In Japan and China, orange represents love and happiness. American Indians see orange as a symbol of kinship.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a presidential order declaring the color orange to mean "high alert" in the color-coded threat system put into effect in March 2002, after the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. In the United States, orange is also used to make safety equipment, like traffic cones and other marking devices implemented in construction zones.

Orange represents healthy eating, sunshine and freedom of expression. Studies have proven that exposure to the color orange can have physical effects, causing individuals to experience increased hunger, enhanced confidence and stimulated mental activity.