Lavender (web color)
Single lavendar flower02.jpg

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— Color coordinates —
Hex triplet #E6E6FA
RGBB (r, g, b) (230, 230, 250)
HSV (h, s, v) (245°, 40%, 96%)
Source X11[1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Lavender is a pale tint of violet. It applies particularly to the color of the flower of the same name. The web color called lavender is displayed at right—it matches the color of the very palest part of the lavender flower; however, the more saturated color shown below as floral lavender more closely matches the average color of the lavender flower as shown in the picture and is the shade of lavender historically considered lavender by the average person as opposed to those who are web site designers.[2] The color lavender might be described as a medium violet or a light pinkish purple. The complementary color of lavender is olive.

The term lavender may also be used in general to apply to a wide range of pale, light, medium, or grayish violet colors, as well as some pale or light pinkish, magenta, or purple colors as well as some pale or light blueish-indigo colors. The color lavender is made by mixing violet and white paint.

The first recorded use of the word lavender as a color term in English was in 1705.[3]

Lavender in human culture


  • The color described above as [true] lavender or floral lavender or the color described above as lavender magenta may both be used to symbolize decadence, in the sense of a lifestyle devoted to sensual enjoyment of sex, drugs, and rock and roll music (according to taste, some may prefer opera or classical music), sumptuous art with rich colors and complex Byzantine-like designs, rich gourmet food, and fine wine. The 1980 book Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet by Richard Gilman has a book jacket colored floral lavender and the interior paper of the inside front and back covers of the book is colored floral lavender. The tops of the pages are tipped in the color floral lavender.[4] The 1972 book Dreamers of Decadence by Philippe Jullian (about the decadent movement in art in the late 1800s in Europe) has the spine of the book jacket colored the color described above as lavender magenta.[5] [3]


  • The Lavender Dragon is the name of a 1923 Fantasy novel by Eden Phillpotts which is an "Ironic mock-medieval romance in which a benevolent dragon steals lonely humans to populate his utopian community, in spite of the attempts of knights errant to keep them in a world ruled by intolerance and injustice. A delightful exercise in inverted perspective."[6]


  • United States Patriots who are advocates of gay liberation point out that if you mix together red, white, and blue, you get lavender.[7]
  • A synonym used for the original gay liberation movement which began in 1969 is referring to the movement as the lavender revolution.
  • The Lavender Panthers was a gay rights activist group in San Francisco during the early 1970s, led by the Reverend Ray Broshears.[8]

Romantic Love

  • Lavender roses are sometimes given by LGBTs to each other on Valentine's Day or may be given to those entering into a same-sex marriage . Images of lavender roses: [4]
  • A Lavender marriage is a marriage between a man and a woman in which one, or both, parties are, or are assumed to be, homosexual. Usually, but not always, both parties are assumed to be complicit in a public deception to hide their homosexuality.


  • Just as in the 1890s mauve symbolized homosexuality, the shade of lavender described above as [true] lavender or floral lavender became the symbol of homosexuality in the 1950s and 1960s. The first usage was in the 1920s to indicate an effeminate style. Sean Casey wrote in 1928, "I am very sorry..that I have hurt the refined sentimentalities of C. W. Allen by neglecting to use the lavender...language of the 18th and 19th centuries." Cole Porter's 1929 song "I'm a Gigolo," went: "I'm a famous gigolo, And of lavender, my nature's got just a dash in it." A 1935 dictionary of slang reported "streak of lavender," meant an effeminate man or a sissy, a term used in 1926 by Carl Sandburg to describe young Abraham Lincoln.[9] In the 1960s, homophiles were sometimes referred to as the lavender boys (this term is still used by some people [both gay and non-gay] to refer to gays). A lavender convention is a convention of homosexuals. A heterosexual who has some homosexual tendencies is described as someone with a dash of lavender.[10] In the 1970s pink became more often associated with homosexuality because of the use of the pink triangle as a symbol of gay liberation. However, gays of the baby boom generation still think of lavender as the gayest color. Apparently, the reason lavender symbolizes homosexuality is because it is the color that is obtained when you mix pink (the color symbolizing girls) with light blue (the color symbolizing boys).[11] [5]
  • Often the color lavender is, when worn by men, associated with those men being in the homosexual scene.[citation needed]
  • Lavender is the name of a LGBT magazine in Minnesota.
  • The Lavender Dragon Society was a club for gay Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[12]
  • There was a gay bookstore called the Lavender Dragon in Menlo Park, California in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • In the bandana code of the gay leather subculture, wearing a lavender bandana symbolizes that you have a fetish for dressing in drag.
  • The color lavender shown above as dark lavender represents bisexuality since it is one of the three colors in the Bisexual pride flag, invented in 1998. This shade of dark lavender is a combination of a deep blue (representing men) and a deep magenta similar to shocking pink (representing women). (To see the exact colors in the Bisexual Pride Flag, go to the Wikipedia article link shown above). [6]
  • The existence of the homintern was a conspiracy theory widely believed in the 1960s; it was sometimes called the lavender conspiracy.


  1. 4.3. SVG color keywords--X11 colors including gray/grey variants:. (May 2003). Retrieved on 2008-01-05.
  2. Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill See discussion of color lavender, Page 163; See color Sample of Lavender--Page 109 Plate 43 Color Sample C5 (Note that the color sample of lavender shown in the book A Dictionary of Color (the world standard for color matching before the introduction of computers) matches the shade of lavender displayed above under the heading "Lavender (floral)" )
  3. Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York: 19[[30 McGraw-Hill Page 197
  4. Gilman, Richard Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet New York:1980--Farrar, Straus, and Griroux
  5. Jullian, Philippe Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s 1972
  6. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature
  7. Exhibition at San Francisco GLBT Historical Society lasting June 2007 to January 2008 about gays in the military since 1941:
  8. October 8, 1973 issue of Time magazine about the Lavender Panthers : [1]
  9. Oxford English Dictionary
  10. Rodgers, Bruce Gay Talk: The Queen's Vernacular--A Dictionary of Gay Slang New York:1972--Paragon Books, G.P. Putnam's Sons Page 124 -- Lavender
  11. Jay, Karla and Young, Allen Lavender Culture: The Perceptive Voices of Outspoken Lesbians and Gay Men (1978)
  12. [2]

See also

  • Mauve
  • Wisteria
  • List of colors
  • Lilac
  • Lavender on Wikipedia

External links

  • [7] Chinese website that sells lavender (although this is a commercial site, it is linked here only in order to allow users to view the elaborate and colorful website design using various shades of lavender).

Template:Shades of violet