Inspired by Flags: Red, White, and Blue in Pictures

Inspired by Flags: Red, White, and Blue in Pictures

A lot of countries have flags in the colours red, white and blue. The USA, the Netherlands, France, the UK – to name a few.

I looked for inspiration by sorting several of my photographs in specific colours. As a result, I made this article about red, white, and blue in pictures.

Thematic photography is an unending source of inspiration in my view. Try it yourself, if you want. Maybe the theme-spark will catch you as well. πŸ™‚

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Pictures in red, white, and blue

We can find inspiration in all kinds of subjects. For instance in colours. Lots of flags are in red, white and blue. Let that be a source of inspiration.

Heraldry in ancient times

US flag

Flags are an offspring of heraldry. Every colour had a specific meaning in ancient heraldry. I have to admit it: I am interested in heraldry, yet I am not very interested in flags as an expression of patriotism.

All too often, patriotism becomes nationalism with all kinds of consequences. Boundaries are not a natural thing.

In the Middle Ages, colours and flags were a necessity to distinguish one armoured knight from the other. Only seven colours were allowed and they all had a black and white variety.

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For instance, blue was also indicated by a pattern of horizontal lines and red by vertical lines. This variation was used in wax seals.

If you have read other articles of mine about inspiration or photography you have seen that I love thematic photography. In this article, I let myself be inspired by the theme of red, white and blue.

Related: What is a Great Theme Photography Idea for a Holiday Abroad?

Red, white, and blue

In this series, I selected 3 pictures in the colours red, white and blue for each subject. Some are bright colours, others are more saturated.Β I call those “powdery” colours.


Heraldry: A modern variation of the heraldic colours are the red and the blue states in USA election time.

Related: What Are the Symbolic Values of Red and Blue?


Red glass
Still life of oil lights
White glass
Blue glass
Still life of blue bottles

Do you know the still lives of Morandi? If you don’t you really should try to have a look at them. Either in reality or in reproductions. I have admired his work for a long, long time and still am not tired of looking at it.


Red door
Den Bosch, the Netherlands
White door
Talavera de la Reina, Spain
Blue door
La Herradura, Spain

Doors and windows. Every holiday I come home with at least one of those on a picture. It’s one of my favourite themes to photograph.


Red chairs
Talavera de la Reina, Spain
White chairs
Den Haag, the Netherlands
Blue chairs
Talavera de la Reina, Spain

Have a seat. Somewhere. Anywhere. πŸ™‚

Flowers from the Dutch bulb fields

Red tulips
White Daffodils
Blue Hyacinths

The bulb fields are a feast for the eyes in April and May. These photos are taken in the fields around Lisse. Equally beautiful and recommendable is a visit to the Keukenhof.

Rock solid

Red rock
Petrified Forst National Park, US
White marble
Marble Falls, Sequoia National Park, US
Blue rock
The North of Spain

Strictly speaking, a petrified tree trunk is not a rock. I’ve allowed myself some poetic freedom.

Abstract images

Subway ventilation
Bottom of a glass

A detail, taken too close, becomes an abstract image. Sometimes recognizable, sometimes not.


Lanzarote, Spain
Lanzarote, Spain
La Herradura, Spain

Red, white and blue combined within a picture. Boats are often so colourful, it’s a wonderful subject for a photo.

Red, white, and blue in pictures

Sometimes I plan ahead of time which subjects I will be shooting for. Sometimes I sort the photos into groups later.

Take, for example, a subject like doors or chairs. For as long as I can remember I have been triggered by those subjects and because I take pictures of doors and chairs so often, they immediately catch my eye when I am somewhere.

It doesn’t matter how we get inspiration, as long as we get inspired by what we do and how we do it, don’t you think?

Do you ever sort your photographs in a specific colour? Tell me in the comment box below.

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6 thoughts on “Inspired by Flags: Red, White, and Blue in Pictures”

  1. Oh, thanks, this offers great inspiration for us. We offer a group of international children a weekly creative afternoon and were wondering what we could do with photography. Especially since they all come from different countries, taking their flags as starting point offers a lot of possiblities.

    • Marvellous, Richard, I can see how this could work out. I am so glad you found inspiration in this post. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your comment and have fun.

  2. Same here, doors and windows have always caught my eyes. It saddens me that more and more houses rely on cheap-looking pvc-u windows, they always make everything look so dowdy and cheap. Strolling through London, even in the countryside near it, you can see old doors with a ton of intricate details.

    • Guess what, Genesis, I have seen those PVC doors and windows and never even thought about them. But now you mention it, you are so right. They do look cheap and I never take a picture of them. Amazing, how we can see things and in reality not see them, or rather, not notice them, isn’t it?

      Oh, London is marvellous. It is such a long time ago I was there!

      Thanks for commenting and enjoy your walks. πŸ™‚

  3. Great idea, Hannie! This would work great for our photography project of the month challenge since we haven’t picked May’s project just yet. We could switch to yellow and blue to support current movements, it would be even lovelier. Thanks!


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