How to Recreate the Color Red in the U.S. Flag

By Kylene Arnold
The red stripes on the American flag are dyed Old Glory Red.

The red stripes in the American flag are "Old Glory Red," according to the Standard Color Card of America. This color card is intended for textiles and does not include equivalent paint or digital color codes. However, the United States Government Printing Office states the color is equivalent to PMS 186 in the Pantone Matching System, which is a paint color standard. This color is well defined in terms of its equivalent values in the various digital color schemes.

RGB (Red-Green-Blue)

Set the red value (R) to 198, or 77.6 percent.

Set the green value (G) to 12, or 4.7 percent.

Set the blue value (B) to 48 or 18.8 percent.

Separate the values by commas when expressing the color in writing. For instance, 198, 12, 48 or 77.6, 4.7, 18.8.

CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key)

Set the cyan value (C) to 0 percent.

Set the magenta value (M) to 94 percent.

Set the yellow value (Y) to 76 percent.

Set the key, or black value (K), to 22 percent.

Separate the values by commas when expressing the color in writing. For instance, 0, 94, 76, 22.

Hexidecimal

Represent the red value by C6.

Represent the green value by 0C.

Represent the blue value by 30.

String the values together to create the hexidecimal code. It is often proceeded by the pound sign. For instance, #C60C30.

HSV/HSB (Hue-Saturation-Value/Brightness)

Set the hue value (H) to 348 degrees.

Set the saturation level (S) to 94.

Set the value or brightness level (V or B) to 78.

Separate the values by commas when expressing the color in writing. For instance, 348°, 94, 78.

HSL (Hue-Saturation-Lightness)

Set the hue value (H) to 348 degrees.

Set the saturation value (S) to 89.

Set the levels value (L) to 41.

Separate the values by commas when expressing the color in writing. For instance, 348°, 89, 41.

Tip

RGB, CMYK, hexidecimal, HSV/HSB and HSL are different ways of telling the computer how to generate colors. RGB and CMYK are most widely used in the graphic design industry, while hexidecimal is more common for computer programmers. HSV, HSB and HSL are less widely used in computer graphics and graphic design applications.

Pantone claims that Old Glory Red more closely matches its PMS 193 red instead of PMS 186. Not all government agencies agree on the exact match.

About the Author

Kylene Arnold is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of print and online publications. She has acted as a copywriter and screenplay consultant for Advent Film Group and as a promotional writer for Cinnamom Bakery. She holds a Bachelor of Science in cinema and video production from Bob Jones University.