Legends about white flag, green envy & red sports cars

Why is Envy a Green Monster? Color associations vary greatly from culture to culture, just as each language or dialect has unique colloquialisms that are often misunderstood or lost in translation. In many Western cultures the feelings of envy or jealousy are commonly associated with the color green. However, in German the feeling is most closely related to the color yellow, as the phrase „gelb vor neid,” or „yellow with envy” suggests. Moreover, in Arabic the same association is made, as noted in the common phrase „yasfaru wajhahu mina al-Heqd” or „his face turns yellow with envy.”

Green is often tied to growth and fertility, thus creating an illogical connection to such a counterproductive feeling as envy or jealousy. This association first appeared in the seventh century B.C., according to etymologists Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver, as the poet Sappho described a stricken lover’s appearance as „green.” At that time the words „green” and „pale” were often used interchangeably. Other literary figures followed suit. The familiar expression „green-eyed monster” was adopted from a line in Shakespeare’s play Othello:

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.

Similarly, in his play Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare described envy as „the green sickness.”

Why is raising a White Flag the Symbol for Surrender? The white flag is an internationally recognized protective sign of truce or ceasefire, and request for negotiation. It is also used to symbolize surrender, since it is often the weaker military party which requests negotiation. A white flag signifies to all that an approaching negotiator is unarmed, with intent to surrender or a desire to communicate. Persons carrying or waving a white flag are not to be fired upon, nor are they allowed to open fire. The use of the flag to surrender is included in the Geneva Conventions.

The first mention of the usage of white flags to surrender is made during from the Eastern Han dynasty (A.D 25-220). In the Roman Empire, the historian Cornelius Tacitus mentions a white flag of surrender in A.D. 109. Before that time, Roman armies would surrender by holding their shields above their heads. The usage of the white flag has since spread worldwide.

Why is Ferrari Red Iconic of Sports Cars? The first color that comes to most people’s mind when imagining a fast, sleek sports car is red. It is the color of fire and is often associated with energy, danger, strength, power, and determination; while sports cars are often affiliated with similar dispositions. But why are the Italian sports cars, specifically Ferrari’s, so often red?

As the sport of car racing began in Europe, each country was assigned a color. Green was assigned to English cars, blue to French, white to German, yellow to Italian, and red to American cars. Because Americans failed to make any considerable impact in European racing, red was eventually taken over by the Italians, while yellow became Belgium’s color. It is a common myth that red cars are the most expensive to insure. Statistics do not prove that red cars have a higher frequency of collisions or traffic violations.

Why Are Mental Intuitions Light Green? In the early 19th century as urbanization became more prevalent so did awareness of mental illness. Most often the case, the mentally ill could not adhere to societal norms and were ostracized for their behaviors. In England, the Madhouse Act of 1928 introduced the idea of building state-supported asylums for the mentally ill, the first of which was the First Middlesex County Asylum in West London, opening in 1831. At it’s conception the institute was essentially a holding cell for the mentally ill to keep them away from the rest of society. Around the time that purpose-built asylums were initially constructed, the idea of humane treatment to patients was also introduced, allowing the mentally ill to live without physical restraints within the institutions.

In the 1850s and 1860s in the United States, the Kirkbride Plan was introduced in conjunction with reform efforts spearheaded by Dorthea Dix. An architectural approach to the mental institute, Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride created a methodological plan that was based around moral treatment. The building itself was meant to have a curing effect, with plenty of sunlight and room for patients to be comfortable.

It was at this time that the color green is believed to be have been introduced to the mental institution. As green signifies growth, renewal, and health, logically Kirkbride would include design elements that highlighted the color. His buildings were often expansive and expensive to maintain. Decades later his ideas were largely discredited, and many of the institutes were abandoned. Long after Kirkbride’s era, clearly some of his concepts still resonate, particularly the prevalence of green in the building’s design.