Gargantua’s colours were white and blue, as I have showed you before, by which his father would give us to understand that his son to him was a heavenly joy; for the white did signify gladness, pleasure, delight, and rejoicing, and the blue, celestial things.
I know well enough that, in reading this, you laugh at the old drinker, and hold this exposition of colours to be very extravagant, and utterly disagreeable to reason, because white is said to signify faith, and blue constancy. But without moving, vexing, heating, or putting you in a chafe (for the weather is dangerous), answer me, if it please you; for no other compulsory way of arguing will I use towards you, or any else; only now and then I will mention a word or two of my bottle. What is it that induceth you, what stirs you up to believe, or who told you that white signifieth faith, and blue constancy? An old paltry book, say you, sold by the hawking pedlars and balladmongers, entitled The Blason of Colours. Who made it? Whoever it was, he was wise in that he did not set his name to it. Meanwhile, in a word I will tell you, that blue doth certainly signify heaven and heavenly things, by the same very tokens and symbols that white signifieth joy and pleasure.
Francois Rebelais (1483 – 1553)
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book I.
(Chapter 1.IX.—The colours and liveries of Gargantua.)