“Purple is the international colour of equality”

Hein?? Clearly it’s been taken up by some groups as such, and this lot seem, well, harmless enough – but the choice of purple still seems odd. Until the 19th century and the development of colour synthesis purple on clothing meant the precise opposite of ‘equality’ – it was the colour of ostentatious wealth and status from the Roman Empire down to the artistocracies of old Europe. Purple ribbons today have a less settled meaning (unsurprising given the land-grab of colours since awareness ribbons started to take off). Most prominent are campaigns against domestic violence but prostate cancer and animal abuse get a look-in too. Fathers’ rights basically don’t.

The Brown Wedge