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Is blue the color of justice?

Justice is a complex concept that has been contemplated and debated by philosophers, legal experts, and laypeople alike for centuries. The attributes and symbolic representations of justice are numerous, but one color that has become strongly associated with justice over time is blue.

The Use of Blue in Justice Systems

The association between blue and justice likely stems from the common use of blue in the uniforms, signage, and other aspects of police forces and court systems around the world. For example:

  • Police uniforms are often dark blue in color
  • The blue lights seen on top of police vehicles
  • Blue signage often indicates police stations, courthouses, and other legal facilities
  • Judges in many countries wear dark blue robes
  • Blue curtains are frequently used as backdrops in courtrooms

This pervasive use of blue creates a strong link between the color and the carrying out of justice through legal procedures and law enforcement. Additionally, blue is sometimes used in logos and symbols that relate to justice, such as scales of justice.

Psychological Effects of Blue

Beyond its frequent use in justice systems, blue may relate to justice in people’s minds due to the psychological effects associated with the color. Research has found that blue evokes feelings of calmness, tranquility, and openness. The table below outlines some of the psychological impacts of blue:

Psychological Effect Description
Calming Blue has a calming, peaceful effect on moods and emotions
Tranquil Blue evokes feelings of tranquility and relaxation
Openness Blue inspires openness in thoughts and conversations
Trust Blue elicits feelings of trust, security, and reliability

This sense of calm, peace, and openness imparted by blue may relate to attributes of an effective justice system, particularly one that relies on principles of impartiality, fairness, and honesty. The trust and reliability also inspired by blue are desirable qualities for police, judges, and others tasked with carrying out justice.

Fairness and Impartiality

Two of the most crucial qualities people associate with justice and effective judicial systems are fairness and impartiality. For justice to be truly served, the processes and players involved must treat all people equally under the law and remain free of bias or prejudice. The sense of calmness and tranquility imparted by blue may lend itself to a sense of measured, evenhanded, and impartial justice.

Research has found people make associations between colors and abstract concepts, and blue is often linked to attributes like stability, unity, and equality. These associations may drive the perception of blue as an impartial color befitting systems dedicated to fairness and equal treatment under the law.

Morality and Idealism

Justice is closely tied to morality and issues of right versus wrong. An effective justice system punishes wrongdoing based on societal moral codes. Blue’s calming nature may relate to this sense of morality and idealism people want from justice systems. Additionally, blue sometimes represents perfection and high moral standards in color symbolism.

Light or bright blue especially elicits feelings of morality and idealism. The saying “true blue” refers to someone extremely honest and moral. So the concept of justice being “true blue” captures society’s ideals of impartiality and fairness from legal systems.

Honesty and Integrity

For there to be justice, legal systems must operate based on honesty and integrity. Those who swear to uphold justice vow to do so in an honest, truthful manner. Blue relates to these principles because it is linked to credibility and sincerity.

Surveys have found people tend to pick blue as the color that represents honesty and trustworthiness. And blue is commonly used in logos and branding for companies that want to communicate reliability and integrity. So blue again aligns with desired attributes of an equitable justice system.

Lawfulness and Loyalty

Bringing about justice requires strict adherence to the law and loyalty to justice’s lawful and ethical principles. Blue relates to following laws, rules, and order because it represents stability and conservatism.

From a political standpoint, blue is associated with lawfulness and trust in government systems. Police loyalty and faithfulness to upholding the law also correlates to the color blue and its connotations. So blue symbolizes both obedience to the law and loyalty to justice’s righteous mission.

Peacefulness and Non-Violence

How justice is pursued matters greatly, and there is a strong preference for justice systems that operate peacefully without violence. Blue represents these ideals because it is strongly associated with peace and non-violence.

Politically blue is correlated with peace movements and dove symbols. And blue is the color of the United Nations, an international organization dedicated to facilitating peace. So blue again aligns with desired attributes of justice being carried out non-violently through deliberate processes rather than by force.

Spaciousness and Open-Mindedness

For fairness and impartiality to prevail, effective justice requires open-mindedness and the ability to evaluate each case individually. Blue elicits feelings of spaciousness and openness, which could relate symbolically to maintaining an open mindset and avoiding biases.

Studies show people see the color blue as literally creating more perceptual space versus warmer colors like red or orange that feel enclosing. This sense of open, free space could translate to being figuratively “open” inthought and judgment when striving for justice.


In conclusion, blue has strong symbolic associations with justice due to both its prevalent use in legal systems and its psychological impacts. The sense of calmness, fairness, honesty, and peacefulness elicited by blue align with society’s ideals for impartial, lawful, and ethical justice. Through repeated use and color psychology, blue has become a shorthand color that instantly communicates attributes of justice across many cultures and contexts.

However, the complexity of justice means no single color could represent the concept holistically. Justice takes many forms and means different things to different groups. Blue may evoke certain positive principles of justice, but true justice requires deep examination of laws, processes, moral codes, and human biases, far beyond any color symbolism.