Why is white flag used for showing that you have surrendered?

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Why is white flag used for showing that you have surrendered?

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The color white has typically been used as a color of peace and worn by non-combatants since antiquity. Basically it just means: “don’t kill me I don’t want to fight.”

As with most symbolic ideas, the exact origin is not entirely certain, but it was first recorded as having been used in the Eastern Han Dynasty in China, AD 25-220. White symbolized death and mourning in Chinese culture, so there’s a hypothesis that the white flag had to do with them having had their fill of death and wanting no more. The more practical guess is that white is easy to notice on a chaotic battlefield.

Nobody really knows why. Various cultures around the world came up with it on their own at different times. It wasn’t necessarily a white flag, but some conspicuous white to represent someone who does not wish to fight at that point, which could be surrender or to negotiate.

My guess is that there were always flags and other items with colors and patterns used as military identifiers, and white meant none of them.