A ‘Pink Link’ — Race, Religion and the Anglo-German Cartographic Freemasonry

  • Richard Scully
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


The use of a pinkish-red hue for Germany is an interesting convention to have adopted, in view of what we know about the associations of blood, energy and Britannia with that most prominent of cartographic shades. It is worth exploring whether there is an intended significance in the same shade of pink on different maps also being used to denote the extent of British power and wealth. In the case of purely political maps the link is a tenuous one at best, despite the significant dynastic and religious links which existed between Britain and Prussia at certain stages during this period.1 Given its status as the most prominent of colours in the British palette (as well as being the most vivid of available inks), the use of pinkish-red was common to denote the chief subject of a given map (for example ‘France’ or ‘European Russia’), and not therefore intended to connote any affinity with Britain or its empire.2 In one cartographic form however, this link was intended and concrete: that curiously nineteenth-century variety of physical geography: the demographic and ethnographic map.


Family Firm British Counterpart Romance People Royal Geographical Society German Influence 
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    For use of orange, or buff: The Times Atlas, London: The Times, 1900, Maps 13–14; J. G. Bartholomew (ed.), Atlas of the World’s Commerce, London: G. Newnes [c.1907], Map 9; The ‘A. L.’ Pupils’ Atlas of Physical and Political Geography, Leeds & Glasgow: E. J. Arnold & Son, Ltd [c.1908], Maps 9–10; J. G. Bartholomew, Cassell’s Atlas, Special Edition, London: Cassell & Co., 1910, Map 52; J. G. Bartholomew (ed.), The Citizen’s Atlas of the World, Edinburgh: J. Bartholomew & Co., 1912, Maps 105–6; J. G. Bartholomew, Atlas of the World, London & Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1913, Maps 38–39.Google Scholar
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© Richard Scully 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Scully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New EnglandAustralia

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