exhibition-stands-essex-yellow-paint-splashSymbolic Meanings of the Color Yellow

  • The Sun
  • Power
  • Authority
  • The Intellect and Intuition
  • Goodness
  • Light
  • Life
  • Truth
  • Immortality
  • Endurance
  • The Empire and Fertility (China)
  • Cowardice
  • Treachery

Yellow is one of the three primary colors and is related to the Solar Plexus Chakra. This is apt, since yellow, like red and orange, is one of the Sun colors. It could be argued that yellow is the most dazzling of the three, so the association makes good sense.


The Ancient Egyptians had only six colors available in their pallet, and wherever yellow is used this indicates the ability to endure and timelessness.

In China, yellow is the color of the Emperor. The average man in the street was forbidden from wearing it until relatively recently. It is also the color of fertility, since healthy soil in China is a yellow color. Because of this, all the hangings, sheets, and pillows of the bridal bed were dyed in vibrant shades of yellow as well as red.

However, there are some contradictions with yellow. In the UK and USA, to call someone “yellow” or to say that they have a “yellow streak” means that they are cowardly. There are several theories about why this should be. The one that seems to fit best is that Judas Iscariot was said to have worn yellow robes, and his own cowardly act was to betray Christ for thirty pieces of silver.

Jewish people were made to wear a yellow Star of David during the Nazi regime of the Second World War. Similarly, in 1215 the Lateran Council ordered Jews to wear a yellow circle to identify themselves. It was probably small comfort for these persecuted people that they believed yellow to be synonymous with beauty.

In 10th century France, the doors of criminals were painted yellow. Conversely, in the 14th century, the yellow chrysanthemum was worn by warriors as a symbol of courage.

bodhi-leavesBecause leaves turn yellow and then to black with the onset of fall, in several places, including Ancient Egypt, yellow is a color of mourning. A yellow cross was painted on doors as a sign of the plague, possibly for the same reasons, and even today yellow marks off a quarantined area.

Color Yellow Meanings in the Bible:

  • Refers to God’s glory (Ezekiel 1:4)
  • Brightness of Christ (Revelation 21:23)
  • Yellow can also refer to God’s fire (Hebrew’s 12:29) or judgment (Genesis 19:24)
  • Yellow is also used to describe the color of gold (Psalm 68:13).

Other meanings associated with the color yellow:

  • Traditionally, yellow ribbons were worn as a sign of hope as women waited for their men to come home from war.
  • Today, yellow ribbons are still used to welcome homes loved ones.
  • Calling someone “yellow” or “yellow-bellied” is the same as calling them a coward.
  • The term “mellow yellow” stands for laid and relaxation.
  • The phrase “yellow journalism” is in reference to bad or irresponsible reporting.
  • In some cultures, yellow represents peace.
  • In Egypt yellow was worn to signify the dead.
  • In Japan, yellow stands for courage.
  • In India, yellow is the color of the merchants.

Collected from various sources.

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