In the US, the stakes in the presidential election appear to be higher than ever. With election fever rising to disturbing levels, there's one important question on everybody's mind:
Why the heck are de democrats blue and the republicans red?
Surely there must be a deeper psychological meaning to this. Right?
Uhm, no. Not really.
Both parties historically use an animal for a symbol, the republicans an elephant and the democrats a donkey. The now-famous Democratic donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson in the 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a jackass (a donkey), and Jackson decided to use the image of the animal on his campaign posters. Later, the symbol was made famous by cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Nast also invented the other famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a cartoon in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled “The Republican Vote.” That's all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party.
However, both parties used the colors of the US flag, red, white and blue. Most of the older logos show all three colors. Only since election night 2000, blue has become the identifying color for the Democratic Party, while red has become the Republican color. That night, for the first time, all major broadcast television networks used the same color scheme for the electoral map: blue states for Al Gore (Democratic nominee) and red states for George W. Bush (Republican nominee). Since then, the color blue has been widely used by the media to represent the party. This is contrary to common practice outside of the United States where blue is the traditional color of the right and red the color of the left. For example, in Canada, red represents the Liberals, while blue represents the Conservatives. In the United Kingdom, red denotes the Labour Party and blue symbolises the Conservative Party.