Skip to Content

What color represents nurses on the flag?

Nurses play a vital role in healthcare and are represented by various colors on flags and symbols. Determining the colors that represent nurses requires examining the history of the nursing profession, the meanings behind different colors, and the flags used to honor nurses.

The History of Nursing Colors

The color most commonly associated with nursing is white. This traces back to the early history of the profession when nurses traditionally wore white uniforms and caps. Florence Nightingale, who established the first formal nursing training program in 1860, chose white uniforms for herself and the nurses she trained.

White symbolized cleanliness, purity and neatness – important virtues in providing medical care. As nursing professionalized, the white nurse’s uniform and cap became standard attire. By the early 1900s, the crisp, white nursing uniform was firmly established as a recognizable symbol of the nursing profession.

The Meanings Behind Nursing Colors

While white remains an iconic nursing color, other tints gained significance too.

  • Blue – In the United States, blue represents excellence, peace, calmness, loyalty and truth. It highlights nurses’ commitment to knowledge, trust and stability in caring for patients.
  • Green – Associated with renewal, growth and well-being, green honors nurses’ compassion and dedication to helping patients heal.
  • Purple – Symbolizing wisdom, dignity and devotion, purple conveys nursing’s esteemed status as a profession.

These colors carry important symbolism for the nursing field. They reflect core values and principles that nurses embody.

Nursing Flags and Emblems

Various flags and emblems incorporate colors representing nursing:

Nursing School Graduation Pins

Nursing school graduation pins often feature a gold metal backdrop with a colored enamel center. The enamel color varies by school but traditionally uses:

  • Royal Blue – Representing knowledge and loyalty
  • Purple – Denoting wisdom and devotion
  • Green – Symbolizing health, life and renewal
  • Red – Indicating strength, courage and passion

These pins honor newly graduated nurses as they embark on their careers.

Nightingale Tribute Program

The Nightingale Tribute program provides a memorial ceremony to pay respects to nurses at their funeral or memorial service. Part of the ceremony involves draping a white pall with a red cross over the nurse’s casket or urn.

The white pall signifies the nurse’s commitment to service, while the red cross represents courage and compassion for others.

Nursing Association Emblems

Many nursing associations feature emblems with symbolic colors, including:

Association Color Meanings
American Nurses Association Royal purple and white for courage, loyalty and devotion to service
National Student Nurses’ Association Red and white denoting passion, strength and purity of purpose
National League for Nursing Blue and green signifying growth, renewal and steadfastness

These colors affirm the values and dedication of nurses in these associations.

The Colors on the Nurses’ Flag

While numerous flags represent various nursing organizations, one flag stands out as the universal flag symbolizing all nurses. This flag features a white field with a blue stripe running perpendicularly across the center.

The white background draws on the history of the traditional nurses’ uniform representing purity, clarity and wholeness. The blue stripe signifies wisdom, faithfulness and integrity – virtues at the heart of excellent nursing care.

This simple but meaningful design aptly honors the entire nursing profession. Flown at hospitals and nursing schools, it expresses appreciation for nurses’ commitment and performance. The nurses’ flag proudly conveys nursing’s identity and ideals.


Nurses are represented by various meaningful colors on emblems, pins and flags. White symbolizes the historical nurse’s uniform portraying cleanliness and integrity. Blue conveys knowledge, calmness and steadfastness. Purple stands for wisdom, dignity and spirituality. Green represents health, growth and compassion.

These colors highlight nursing’s esteemed virtues and principles. They appear on commemorative pins, association emblems and tribute ceremonies. The universal nurses’ flag features white and blue, succinctly conveying nursing’s identity and values. The colors of the nurses’ flag proudly honor the entire profession.