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Saffron (color)

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Title: Saffron (color)  
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Saffron (color)

    Color coordinates
Hex triplet #F4C430
sRGBB  (rgb) (244, 196, 48)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (4, 23, 81, 5)
HSV       (h, s, v) (45°, 80%, 96%)
Source Maerz and Paul[1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Saffron is a color that is a tone of golden yellow resembling the color of the tip of the saffron crocus thread, from which the spice saffron is derived.

The first recorded use of saffron as a color name in English was in 1200.[2]

Close-up of a single saffron crocus thread (the dried stigma). Actual length is about 20 millimeters (0.79 in).


  • Variations of saffron 1
    • Rajah 1.1
    • India saffron and deep saffron 1.2
  • Saffron in nature 2
  • Saffron in culture 3
  • See also 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • References 6

Variations of saffron


    Color coordinates
Hex triplet #FBAB60
sRGBB  (rgb) (251, 174, 96)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (0, 32, 62, 2)
HSV       (h, s, v) (29°, 62%, 98[3]%)
Source Resene
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Displayed at right is the color rajah.

"Rajah" is a bright deep tone of saffron.

India saffron and deep saffron

Deep saffron
    Color coordinates
Hex triplet #FF9933
sRGBB  (rgb) (255, 153, 51)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (0, 50, 90, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v) (34°, 80%, 87%)
Source Vexillological:
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)
Name India
Use National flag
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 22 July 1947
Design Horizontal tricolour flag (India saffron, white, and India green). In the center of the white is a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes
Designed by Pingali Venkayya[N 1]

The National flag of India is officially described in the Flag Code of India as follows: "The colour of the top panel shall be India saffron (Kesari) and that of the bottom panel shall be India green. The middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue colour with 24 equally spaced spokes."[4] Deep saffron approximates the color of India saffron.[5][6] India saffron, white and what is now called India green were chosen for the three bands, representing courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively.[7]

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who later became India's first Vice President and second President, described the significance of the Indian National Flag as follows:

Saffron in nature

Valuable stigmas, or threads from flowers are tediously plucked, piled, and dried.



Saffron in culture



  • Saffron-colored cloth is thought by some to have a history of use among Celtic peoples. A "saffron" kilt is worn by the pipers of certain Irish regiments in the British Army and in the defence forces of the Republic of Ireland. This garment is also worn by some Irish and Irish-American men as an item of national costume. Its color varies from a true saffron orange to a range of dull mustard and yellowish-brown hues. The Antrim GAA teams are nicknamed "The Saffrons" because of the saffron-colored kit which they play in. The surname "Cronin," which originated in County Cork, is derived from the Old Irish word crón, meaning saffron-colored. In Ireland and Scotland until at least the 17th century, noblemen wore léine croich, a saffron-colored loose shirt that reached down to mid-thigh or the knee. Since saffron spice could only be afforded by the wealthy, wearing saffron-colored clothing came to be seen as a sign of nobility among the Celts.


  • The color saffron is associated with the goddess of dawn (Eos in Greek mythology and Aurora in Roman mythology) in classical literature:
Cymon and Iphigeneia c. 1884 by Frederic Leighton - saffron suffuses the canvas at sunrise

Homer's Iliad : Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Okeanos, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her. (19.1)[9]

Virgil's Aeneid :

Aurora now had left her saffron bed,
And beams of early light the heav'ns o'erspread,
When, from a tow'r, the queen, with wakeful eyes,
Saw day point upward from the rosy skies.[10]


Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition



  • In Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), the deep saffron color is associated with sacrifice, religious abstinence, quest for light and salvation. Saffron or "Bhagwa" is the most sacred color for the Hindus and is often worn by Sanyasis who have left their home in search of the ultimate truth.
  • Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition typically wear saffron robes (although occasionally maroon—the color normally worn by Vajrayana Buddhist monks—is worn). (The tone of saffron typically worn by Theravada Buddhist monks is the lighter tone of saffron shown above.)
Sikh - Nishan Sahib
  • The Maratha Confederacy used "Jari Patka" as their Flag. It is a Saffron Swallow tail flag, with sometimes added red/golden frilled border.
  • Sikhs use saffron as the background color of the Nishan Sahib, the flag of the Sikh religion, upon which is displayed the khanda in blue.
  • Muhammad enjoined the rubbing of saffron on the heads of babies after their heads were shaven as part of Aqiqah and he forbade the wearing of saffron colored clothing to male Muslims.


  • The color at the top of the Indian National Flag is a color officially called India saffron that is an orangeish shade of saffron. On the Indian National Flag the color saffron is supposed to represent sacrifice and renunciation of materialism.
  • In Rajasthani this color is called kay-ser-ia. The word derives its name from kesar, a spice crop from Kashmir.

Video games

  • In the Pokémon games, there is a city named Saffron City.

See also


  1. ^ The current flag is an adaptation of Venkayya's original design, but he is generally credited as the designer of the flag.


  1. ^ The color displayed in the color box above matches the color called saffron in the 1930 book by Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill; the color saffron is displayed on page 43 Plate 10, Color Sample K8.
  2. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 203; Color Sample of Saffron: Page 43 Plate 10 Color Sample K8
  3. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to color #FBAB60 (Rajah):
  4. ^ Flag Code of India
  5. ^ A web page on an official website of the government of India mentions that the color of the upper band of the flag of India is called India saffron (Kesaria). (Depictions of various historical flags of India used by the Indian independence movement are also shown.):
  6. ^ "Indian Standards" (PDF). Bureau of Indian Standards. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Flag of India".  
  8. ^ "Flag Code of India" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  9. ^ --online version of the work by Homer (English)--Pope translation:Iliad
  10. ^ [Gutenberg Project: The Aeneid (Dryden translation) (plain text):
  11. ^ lyrics
  12. ^
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