Why ‘Feeling Blue’? Where does the blue come from?

Today, the expression feeling blue means feeling down – for instance, www.feeling-blue.com is a website dedicated to depression support. The code ‘blue for bad news’ is so deeply rooted, the color fathered blues music (see Blue Note), named after its nostalgic connotation.

In reality, the phrase feeling blue refers to maritime history and navy terminology, as well as ancient mourning traditions, as explained in the extract below:

‘If you are sad and describe yourself as ‘feeling blue,’ you are using a phrase coined from a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships.

If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to home port.’

Source: Navy Terminology @Navy.mil

While the color alludes to sadness, blue also evokes positive values such as motherhood, deities such as the Virgin Mary or Hindu deity Vishnu, peace, institutions, justice (see Blue in American Flag), calm, and the best cheese ever (pictured below), not to mention that blue is actually the favorite color worldwide.

Featured picture: @THE KEEP CALM-O MATIC

Feeling blue, NaBHan @DeviantArt - Anything Blue

Feeling blue, NaBHan @DeviantArt 

Picture source: NaBHan @DeviantArt

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