Greece Blue 12

50 Shades of Blue

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Dalene & Pete Heck

To anyone who has visited the Greek islands, it should come as no surprise that Greece has never quite settled on the shade of blue to be used in their flag.

According to a 1978 law, the shade of cyan is specified for current use. However, the word cyan incidentally also means the word blue in Greek, leaving it entirely open for interpretation. The intent is to have it a lighter shade (similar to the UN flag), but the one more commonly seen today is several shades darker. 

One weekend in Greece and we completely understand the inability to specify a particular color. How to choose only one from the multitude of blues that paint the landscape?

The azure of umbrella shades and painted stairs. Rippling ultramarine in the shallow harbours. The rich, deep Palatinate blue of the clear sky as the sun dips below of the horizon.

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Is it any wonder that there is such confusion?

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  1. I’m here in Cyprus, where in the south they do a lot of Greece-worship. They put the Greek flag next to their own everywhere, and I’ll think of this post each time I see the flag from now on!

    1. Hey, thanks Jeff! Whenever I thought of Greece before we visited, I always thought of the color blue (thanks to Mama Mia!), and it really didn’t disappoint. So many shades! Couldn’t think of a better way to capture it. 🙂

  2. Now you understand why I’ve been urging you to go to Greece all this time! You must go back.

    1. Haha, yes, thanks for the “gentle” prodding Christine! Greece has moved to the top of our “must-house-sit-there” list! Would love to spend a month or two ambling around an island. 🙂

  3. That’s no exaggeration – I remember it well, there are at least 50 shades. These are wonderful shots and I’ll lose a lot of time this week just scrolling through again and again but what a way to procrastinate! 😀

    1. Maybe even 50 thousand. So many! Whenever I thought of Greece, I thought of the color blue, and I was not disappointed to see how true that relation is.

  4. I’ve always been trying to save Greece as a special destination with someone very special, but your photos are making not care to wait anymore. I love that it’s so blue there. An excellent contrast to all the white buildings. Alluring!

    1. It would be an excellent place to *save* for sure, but at the same time, when you go back to a place with someone new, it can be like seeing it all for the first time anyways! Why wait? 🙂

    1. Thanks Amanda! I couldn’t pick one either. I totally understand why you are making your way back to Greece this summer. 🙂

  5. I spent a summer in the Greek Islands a few years ago and it was awesome. The place is so beautiful and yes just bursting with various shades of blue from the sky to the ocean.

  6. Oh I want to go to Greece sooo much!. I was there about 30 odd years ago and I don’t know when I’ll ever get back there…. The photo’s you posted are beautiful……

  7. The Greeks really know their Branding 101, eh?? The blue skies, blue seas, blue-domed churches, blue everything are just perfect to make all your photos pop! And while we love blue, let’s not forget about the whites too. I was practically swooning at all the white houses in Greece. There’s a reason white is part of the Greece flag too, hehe.

  8. I didn’t know this fact about the flag, how interesting.There’s something special about the light in the Aegean that makes all these shades of blue and white dance.

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