Political Party Colors
Brian Gongol

One of the strangest phenomena in media and politics is the inexplicable inversion of the colors associated with America's two major parties. For some unknown reason, in popular use, the two are reversed from the standard colors widely used in many other Western democracies. Broadly speaking, center-left parties almost always use red as their identifying color, and center-right parties almost always use blue. In popular use, Americans have the two reversed.

To wit: The following chart illustrates the main color used to identify the largest center-left and center-right parties (as well as third-way parties, where applicable):

UKRedLabourBlueConservativeOrangeLiberal Democrats
JapanRedDPJGreenLiberal DemocratsBlueNew Komeito
IrelandRedLabourGreenFianna Fail
BlueFine Gael

Why, then, are America's right-leaning states called the "red states" and the left-leaning ones the "blue states"? It simply doesn't jive with the standard practices elsewhere in the world.