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Why do communists love red?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-7-23 00:58:29 |Display all floors
This post was edited by aziz at 2012-7-23 01:02

The association of red with communism is rooted the use of a red FLAG by European revolutionaries. The obvious symbolism is that of blood. In fact, red flags were used in medieval times to indicate that a castle would not surrender, and later by pirates and others to indicate that, if/when they won NO ONE would be spared (the blood would flow freely).

But again, the association with Communism is associated with the idea of a the people/workers rising up in "revolution". This specific association began with the adoption of the red flag by radicals (the Jacobin club, first of all) during the French Revolution. In the mid-19th century the red flag was again raised in connection with the 1848 revolutions in France and across Europe. In 1871, the "heirs" to this French revolutionary tradition hoisted the flag at the Paris commune. THIS was where the firm association of red flags (and hence simply of "red") with socialism/communism was established.

At various points the red flag was also associated or combined with a BLACK flag, typically adopted as a symbol by anarchists.
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Post time 2012-7-23 01:01:57 |Display all floors
Hair of Virgin Mary and the robes of Angels were depicted red in medieval paintings. The definitely positive connotation of the color red which originated with the neolithic hunter peoples and continued with the ancient Germans starts to change around 1500. The Germanic god Thor (other names include, Ása-Thór, Donar, Donner, Thór, Thunder, Tor) had red hair. More about Thor from Ashliman at University of Pittsburg. Red animals such as the robin, the fox and the squirel were Thor’s sacred creatures. Beard and eyes of Wotan, the Germanic god of hunt, were fiery red too. Advent of Christianity diminished the power of these two Germanic gods. They were transformed into the devil with his red hair and red beard. Red haired women were reputed to be witches and w##s and the poppy became the devil’s flower. Sexuality which was also associated with red was demonized in Christianity. Mary’s hair became blonde. Old sayings discriminated people with red hair or red beard: "Red hair, evil hair" and "Red beard - devil’s way". Such prejudices still prevail in some rural areas of Europe.

The effect of the color red used to play an important role in politics. Red is the most frequently used color for national flags, mostly due to its excellent visibility. Red became the symbol of communism and socialism during the Russian Revolution in 1907. Red color had usually a positive connotation in cold countries like Russia throughout history. Red Army’s alternative name was "Glorious Army" and Russian words for red (krassnyj) and beautiful (krassivyj) are very similiar. Western cultures frowned upon red color in its political sense. "Better dead than red" was popular in cold war days in the US. Black swastika of the National Socialists was painted on red background to suggest association with the working classes.
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