The Cerulean Blue War


My fellow Saint Lucians, I have witnessed and endured the years-long arguments on which is the true blue for our flag which was designed by Sir Dunstan St. Omer. As we all know, for years navy blue was the colour which adorned all portrayals of Helen’s lofty symbol for all the world to see.

Slightly more than a decade ago, if memory serves me correctly, the argument and insistence began in earnest that the colour handed down by the late great Sir Dunstan was unambiguously dictated as ‘cerulean blue.’

It is clear from all arguments thus far that never was there any scientific representation of that colour handed down from our flag’s designer. And by scientific representation I mean hex, CMYK, sRGB, or HSV code

As a result, in this age of the Internet and supposed enlightenment, we must search the web to better assist our embroiled and embattled state of war (albeit only verbal) in discerning what was intended by the master, Sir Dunstan.

Treading carefully, (or should that be browsing), I fall upon the go-to source by all and sundry for their argument settling website, Wikipedia. Yes, yes, I know, this is frowned upon by most college and higher learning institutions. But at least it can begin guiding us in the right direction.

So then, according to Wikipedia, “Cerulean (/səˈruːliən/), also spelled caerulean, is a shade of blue ranging between azure and a darker sky blue. The first recorded use of cerulean as a colour name in English was in 1590. The word is derived from the Latin word caeruleus, “dark blue, blue, or blue-green”, which in turn probably derives from caerulum, diminutive of caelum, “heaven, sky”.

So here are the representations, in scientific notation, for the accurate replication and rendering of those colours.

“Cerulean blue” is the name of a pigment. The pigment was discovered in the late eighteenth century and designated as cerulean blue in the nineteenth century.

Now please don’t eat me alive as there is no real contradiction in the above two paragraphs. The first is Cerulean which is a shade of blue ranging between azure and a darker sky blue. In fact it derives from the Latin word caerileus which means dark blue, blue, or blue-green – a whole range of colours!!!
And then we have Cerulean blue as the name of a PIGMENT!
The elusive fact is whether Sir Dunstan discovered and replicated the ancient mixture derived by heating tin oxides with cobalt thereby producing our flag’s colour. I highly doubt it.

According to Winsor and Newton, “Sold in Germany during the early 1800s, Cerulean Blue only became well known with its re-introduction into the English market in the 1860s, under the trade name Coeruleum. Derived from the latin ‘caerleus’ meaning ‘dark blue’ and ‘caelum’ meaning ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’, Cerulean Blue is often recommended for painting deep, bright skies.” Dark blue!!!

Going further, Winsor and Newton states, “Cerulean Blue quickly became a staple pigment for water colourists and oil painters in the late 19th Century. The Industrial Revolution was well under way and painters welcomed new synthetic pigments to extend their palettes. Cerulean Blue was adopted by the Impressionists and can be found in the sky of Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877.” Ahah!!

La Gare Saint-Lazare – Claude Monet

Could this puff of blue smoke be the blue which Sir Dunstan truly intended for our flag? And what does his family have to say about this long winded brouhaha about which blue is the true blue? Should this be taken to court? And where is the original painting or flag which was handed to us? Couldn’t a scientific analysis be conducted to put this argument to rest, once and for all?

But elsewhere online there is a definitive representation of Cerulean Blue as #2a52be. Adobe Photoshop deciphers this code authoritatively! I now present, surprise surprise surprise…Cerulean Blue. Now what say you?

Was Sir Dunstan St. Omer actually correct about the name of his colour choice, or was it something totally different? Baby blue, teal, light blue, azure, turquoise? Perhaps his use of the cerulean blue name was in an attempt to demonstrate our diversity and adaptability. Who will be the discerning voice in this Cerulean Blue affair?


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