Black. To express the privation of light and joy, the midnight gloom
of sorrow for the loss sustained. The colour of mourning in Europe. It
was also the colour of mourning in ancient Greece and in the Roman
Black and white striped.
To express sorrow and hope. The mourning of the South-Sea
Islanders. Greyish brown. The colour of the earth, to which the
dead return. The colour of mourning in Ethiopia. Pale brown. The
colour of withered leaves. The mourning of Persia.
Sky-blue. To express the assured hope that the deceased has gone to
heaven. The colour of mourning in Syria, Cappadocia, and Armenia.
in Bokhara, is the colour of mourning (Hanway). The Romans in the
Republic wore dark blue for mourning.
Purple and violet.
To express royalty, “kings and priests to God.” The colour of
mourning for cardinals and the kings of France. The colour of mourning
in Turkey is violet.
Emblem of “white-handed hope.” The colour of mourning in China.
Henry VIII. wore white for Anne Boleyn. The ladies of ancient
Rome and Sparta wore white for mourning. It was the colour of mourning
in Spain till 1498. In England it is still customary in some of the
provinces to wear white silk hat-bands and white gloves for the
The sear and yellow leaf. The colour of mourning in Egypt and in
Burmah, where also it is the colour of the monastic order. In Brittany,
widows' caps among the paysannes are yellow. Anne Boleyu wore
yellow mourning for Catherine of Aragon. Some say yellow is in token of
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894