Why Are “Red Carpet” Events Red?

A “Red Carpet” event represents an important, high class event or ceremony, which is why hotels, airlines and cruise ships advertise ‘Red Carpet Service” for first class customers; to give them the sense of being special, important and a step above the others.

Red has always been associated with royalty, and a red carpet in the center of a room often indicated the presence of royalty.
But why Red carpets, not gold or purple; colors also associated with royalty?

Red is, of course, the color of blood, and the “bloodlines” of prominent families, especially monarchies, and documenting the bloodlines of generations of royal, noble and aristocratic families was an important element of proving rank and privilege.
Red is often the prominent color in national Flags; a symbol of the blood sacrifice soldiers shed in battle. “Walking the Red Carpet” then, implies exceptional service, sacrifice and also status, and has been so since ancient times.

The earliest reference to a “Red Carpet” is found in Aeschylus’ play Agamemnon, written in 458 BC where Agamemnon, returning from Troy, is greeted by his wife who says “Servants, let there be spread before the house…where Justice leads him in, a crimson path.”

Agamemnon refused, saying that “only gods walk on such carpets”, but Later monarchs were not so modest, and red carpets became the symbols of royalty exceptional service to a nation or monarch.

The first appearance of a red carpet in the United States was in 1902 when the New York Central Railroad used crimson red carpets to direct people as they boarded the train. It soon became a symbol of great achievement or notable events, as well to welcome V.I.Ps and celebrities at special events. ”Rolling out the red carpet” id as term meaning a special effort of respect and hospitality.