When Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, he wore a splendid crimson velvet cloak. This is the colour of thrones, of cardinals, of power and pomp, of ceremony and feasts. Dark red is sympathetic to authority and favours the idea of maturity. It is assertive and assured, and can function as a reminder of a more demanding, insistent attitude when, through misfortune or our own mistakes, we falter. It speaks to the fragment of a Napoleonic attitude buried in everyone’s soul.
Blue is the colour of order and discipline. It tells us not to give up, to search for reserves of resilience. It is resolute, reliable. Dark blue doesn’t get sidetracked. It sticks to the key task, to the big point. It keeps the end in view. Strong rather than hard; courageous rather than fierce, it is civilised and directed. It is power on our side, protective and helpful. It is the colour of a good, true father.