[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/ExitFate http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/purpledarkness_small_4628.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Interesting shadow you got there.]]
->''"Isn't it weird nearly all darkness spells are either pink or purple instead of, you know, black?"''
-->-- ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/2676080 John Hammond: Revenge Of Darkness]]''

Much like HollywoodDarkness, purple is often used as a stand-in for black in comics and animation. This is predominantly because purple is easier to shade quickly and thus give the appearance of three-dimensionality; solid black objects in animation (and theoretically, RealLife) would lack contours and look very flat.

In regard to character design, pseudo-purple hair is popular for similar reasons. It also makes a character more recognizable from a copyright standpoint. Characters who fall under the DarkIsNotEvil trope are occasionally depicted this way too, to perhaps subconsciously suggest they aren't stereotypically evil.

In older comics, blue was used because it was one of the basic pigment colors and thus inexpensive (and because HollywoodDarkness is generally blue-tinted). This has led to some mixed messages over whether (for example) Nightcrawler's fur or Spider-Man's pants are ''blue'', or if they're ''black'' in the same way Superman's hair is black (despite having blue highlights).

As far as reality is concerned, this trope induces a lot of FridgeLogic, since violet is the most energetic part of the visible light spectrum.[[note]]Though violet is the color that the human eye is least sensitive to.[[/note]] The explanation, however, is that this is actually ''why'' purple and [[OrangeBlueContrast blue]] are perceived as black: more energetic hues of light get to places and reflect on surfaces other hues cannot, giving deep shadows a disproportionate amount of blue-violet lighting. See Analysis page for the full MindScrew that is the representation of black with colors that are not black, and the science of why this is TruthInTelevision.

Compare HairColorDissonance, YouGottaHaveBlueHair, PurpleIsPowerful, EvilWearsBlack and RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver (several of these can overlap with this trope).
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* A couple examples in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
** Yumichika's hair in the anime looks like a mix between dark blue and purple with a red-streaked lock. Really, it's just the light making it look that way.
** Uryu has navy blue hair in the anime, but, again, it's the lighting making it look that way.
* Osamu's hair in ''Manga/BokuraNoHentai'' looks blue but the dialogue implies it's supposed to be black.
* In ''Manga/KiniroMosaic'', Aya has blue hair, but like the previous example, the dialogue implies it's supposed to be black.
* [[ValuesDissonance Infamously]], Cyborg 008 in ''Manga/{{Cyborg009}}'' was colored with pitch black skin in the manga, which was then rendered as a very visible ''purple'' in the 1979 anime adaptation. Made even stranger by the fact that other black characters in the adaptation appeared with varying shades of brown skin, and that the '60s anime works had also colored his skin brown.
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers''
** Inverted: Sakuyamon, [[HolyHandGrenade who is based off a miko]], has a purple light power. The darker Virus types are more associated with red.
** Beelzemon (a [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Demon Lord]] Digimon) from the same series shoots large darkness purple blasts from his [[{{BFG}} Blaster]] when in Burst Mode, his Blaster also is [[ArmCannon integrated to his arm]].
** In general, if something black needs to "glow", like [[InstantRunes magic circles]], or as Beelzemon's "darkness blasts" above, it'll be purple.
* Takasugi Shinsuke from ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', who is a [[SpacePirates Space Pirate]] and definitely not a WellIntentionedExtremist, has a purple Kimono.
* In some parts of the series, Misaki in ''Maid-sama!'' looks like she either has purple or black hair. The lighting for the episode changes so much, you could argue for either being her hair color.
* In the manga of ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', Anthy's hair is black, while it's purple in the TV series and movie.
* In the anime of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', the uniforms of the Oniwabanshuu/the Oniwaban Group have been colored purple. The original manga was bichromatic, and Watsuki's coloring has been startlingly inconsistent in general. The fans who wonder will probably never know whether the Oniwaban uniforms actually ''were'' purple, or if that was just a choice made by the animators to avoid the pitfalls of animating black.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'':
** Hino Rei is noticeably native Japanese (even though all but Aino Minako supposedly ''are''), with long black hair -- highlighted purple -- and a distinct epicanthic fold. This is very notorious since she is supposed to represent [[YamatoNadeshiko classical Japanese beauty]] which consists in [[RavenHairIvoryskin pale skin and black hair]]. On the other hand, Chiba Mamoru's hair is often straight black, but when highlighted, tends to be highlighted blue.
** [[MentorMascot Luna]] also shows this, she is a black cat but in colored artwork and animation is bluish purple.
** [[{{Moe}} Hotaru Tomoe]]'s hair is also [[EeriePaleskinnedBrunette supposedly black to contrast with her white skin]] but it has blue highlights.
* The Moon Empress in ''Manga/{{Yaiba}}'' has her hair and PlayboyBunny outfit shaded violet.
* Very common in anime, where dark purple/blue will be intended to be black. Official sources will also almost always list the hair color as being black. A ppular examples is Tomoya from ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}''.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Shampoo's hair is shown on covers to be black, or at least very dark blue. In the anime, it is purple.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'':
** The Shadow Realm is depicted with some swirls of midnight blue or black but mostly purple.
** The Dark Magician, or Black Magician in the Japanese manga and anime, wears purple. This is due to the limitations of black and white manga (it's hard to draw a character wearing all black); in card artworks and the animes, the purple tends to be darkened considerably.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'', the Gundam Mk-II in Titans colors are said in dialogue (and in the episode 1 title) to be black, but in most if not all depictions (in-show shots, illustrations, model kits) they are predominantly dark blue, sometimes with a slight purple/indigo tinge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* There is some debate over whether or not SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker originally wore a purple or black suit. The purple suit has become iconic in the decades since, although famed artist Alex Ross subscribes to the theory that the Joker's suit was originally intended to be black with purple highlights, so that his chalk-white face would stand out as much as possible. Accordingly, pretty much all of Ross' (colored) drawings of the Joker feature him in black instead of the widely-accepted purple.
* ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}'s normally black outfit was purple for most of TheNineties.
* In ''ComicBook/MaxRideFirstFlight'', the Erasers appear to have blue fur most of the time, but in some panels their fur is either black or grey.
* The ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel'' incarnation of ComicBook/{{Venom}} has purple highlights.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* An interesting variation, coupled with DarkIsEvil: when Thunderstorm begins his plot to TakeOverTheWorld in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'', the Earth is enveloped in purple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon:
** The Evil Queen's mirror in ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' has a purple motif to it.
** Maleficent of ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' has a purple trim in her robe, and a purple underbelly when she turns into a dragon, which evaporates into black and purple smoke when killed.
** This is one of evil sea witch Ursula's primary colors in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''.
** ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'': Judge Claude Frollo's jurist robes have purple trimmings.
** ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' has Dr. Facilier, who is always seen in his purple suit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Greg Howell's LightOnShatteredWater, the parallel dimension's sentient inhabitants have evolved from great cats, rather than from apes. This has many implications. One of them is that they perceive colour differently from humans - to them, most dark colours are simply black.
* Inverted in [[http://www.tolkiengateway.net/w/images/1/19/Ted_Nasmith_-_Nazg%C3%BBl_at_the_Walls.jpg this depiction of Gandalf]] from ''TheLordOfTheRings''. Considering his sthick as [[spoiler:the White]] is [[LightEmUp light]]...
** Also averted in [[http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/File:Ted_Nasmith_-_The_Light_of_Valinor_on_the_Western_Sea.jpg this other painting]], depicting the Light of Valinor. The purple light actually does a pretty damn good job at contrast with the darkness.
* In ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'', the Darkness-based powers of the hosheks are generally described as purple, though mostly when dealing with luminous objects (fires, lightning bolts, etc.). On the other hand, Darkness-touched moss is also purple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Ulkesh's (Kosh II's) encounter suit is purple... and he is definitely a [[DomesticAbuser less]] [[KnightTemplar pleasant]], [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] Vorlon than the (orange-clad) Kosh [[spoiler: we knew]].
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', this goes for both the Joker and the Skull Memories, as well as their respective Riders: while the costumes are predominantly black (Joker has purple elements, while Skull adds white), their attacks glow with purple.
* In ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', Black Rangers tend to have purple motifs in their costumes, energy weapons (particularly noticeable when [[PowerGlows they glow]]), and the like.
** Of particular note is Wolzard of ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger''/Koragg the Knight Wolf of ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'', a BlackKnight in purple armor.
** But averted in that the rare Violet Ranger will never be mistaken for a Black Ranger and vice-versa - ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'' even had both colors in its roster. Naturally, the Black Ranger's shade of purple is a darker shade.
** Two specific Black Rangers are interesting zig-zaggings of this trope: [[Series/ChourikiSentaiOhranger King Ranger]] and [[Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger Abare Black]]. Because they are both individual add-ons to their respective teams, they get a lot of gold on them. Therefore, their energies are often, maybe more often than not, portrayed as gold in color, but oftentimes purple as well. Not to mention their respective Zords were more gold in color than they were black. This was the main reason that King Ranger's Power Ranger counterpart is called the Gold Ranger instead. [[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Black Lion Rio]], who is a Ranger-like main villain [[spoiler: turned ally]]) also follows the same rules as the previous two Black Rangers: black suit with a lot of gold, with his Zord following the same color scheme, and alternates between purple and gold as his energy color.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E2WhereSilenceHasLease Where Silence Has Lease]]", the ''Enterprise'' encounters a void in space (home to a curious EldritchAbomination) which is apparently pure nothingness, but rather than lightless black, it is mostly a cloudy dark blue.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion]]
* In Wicca and other neopagan circles, the fifth element, Spirit, is basically described as [[TheSacredDarkness darkness]], being defined by emptiness. It is portrayed most often as either black or purple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Bakugan}}'' of the Darkus element are colored black and purple.
* Shows up in some ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' art related to Black cards. For instance, some [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=157889 varieties]] of [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=8331 Swamps]] have purple colors. This is largely to give them ''some'' color, as purple isn't claimed by any of the others. Inverted, however, with some old card catalogs; Red, Blue, Black, and Green card names are all printed in their respective colors, but White is printed as purple (since, obviously, printing it as white would be problematic).
** Frequently inverted in regard to White cards; several White spells are seen emiting a purple light.
** Especially notable in the Theros block, where the [[LivingDream Nyxborn]] Enchantment Creatures have a border that is a lighter shade of the normal color, flecked with stars. To make Black's, the entire card border is just outright purple.
* A strange variant with ''TabletopGame/TicketToRide'': In the physical tabletop version, the five player colors are red, blue, green, yellow, and black. But in any computer version of the game, black trains don't show up well on screen, so the fifth color there is purple.
* In the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game, "Dark" has a purple symbol. Earth, on the other hand, has a black symbol with white lettering--so maybe black is the new brown?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Ravage, the stealthy jaguar whose colors traditionally are black with either red or yellow highlights, has recently been getting purple highlights on his figures. His abilities have always been explicitly shadow-based, and it seems like designers are taking it to the next level.
* Toy versions of Spider-Man's black costume sometimes get this, as a pure black costume would be visually uninteresting and, apparently, toy designers get sick of blue highlights.
* Although the usage of shadow-based powers has been depicted more or less consistently as red in media, ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'''s Shadow Kraata were still purple colored. Also, in the line's early run and the 2015 reboot, purple is a secondary color for the usually black Earth element characters.
* In ''Toys/DCSuperheroGirls'' and its [[WebAnimation/DCSuperheroGirls animated adaptation]], Franchise/WonderWoman's normally black hair has a heavy blue tint to it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'', the "Evil Clouds" are purple and black, and BigBad Kronos has the same color smoke rising off of him. His minion also shapeshifts in a puff of purple-black smoke.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire2'', [[LadyOfBlackMagic Nina's]] "cursed" black wings appear purple in her in-game sprite.
* In ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot2CortexStrikesBack'' Neo Cortex's normally black hair is purple.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In the series dark-attuned attacks and sometimes weapons are dark purple. Prominent examples include the "Dark" series of spells and the Dark Knight's signature Soul Eater ability. Gravity spells are usually black, but occasionally are purple too.
** All over the place in the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' expansion ''Wings of the Goddess''. Most prominent in the Spitewardens, who wear purple versions of [[NiceHat Red]] [[BadassInANiceSuit Mage]] artifact armour, though we also see it in [[EvilIsSexy Lady Lilith]] and [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Atomos]]]].
*** One story quest which involves fighting one of the aforementioned Spitewardens is literally called 'Purple is the new Black'.
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', Golbez and Cecil's darkness attacks, Sephiroth's Shadow Flare, and Terra's Graviga, are all purple and black. Golbez and Cecil cross into TechnicolorFire with Dark Flame and Rising Wave, which create pillars of purple flame. Played with with the Cloud of Darkness, her void and darkness-based beam attacks are most prominently red. ''Some'' of them are purple, but it's more a bright violet rather than the dark purple the other examples mentioned show up as.
* The ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series as a whole depicts Dark magic as a mix of black and purple, at least from the GBA era onward. Most playable Dark users - [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Sophia, Raigh, Niime, Canas]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones Knoll]], and [[FireEmblemAkaneia Etzel]] - wear a shade of purple or have purple hair. And in a literal example of purple being the new black, tomes of dark magic (which, in all of the other games, had black covers) have purple covers in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''.
* Black Shadow from the ''VideoGame/FZero'' series actually wears a purplish getup despite his name.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', this is usually not used (green, red, or even yellow are more used), but Hades' Claws have a distinct violet glow.
* Dark Eco in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' has a noticable purple tint, and [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Dark Jak]] has purple lightning sparks shooting out of him. Interestingly, Dark Jak himself is bluish-gray, as are Gol and Maia. The [[EldritchAbomination Dark Makers]] are completely purple-black, though.
* The power of darkness in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series is either represented as purple or red when it isn't just straight black.
* Stern's Barrier Jacket in the ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable'' is shown in official art to be black, but for her in-game model, it was given a dark purple hue.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series, a lot of characters and objects associated with darkness wear purple or are colored purple; [=DarkMan=], [=ShadeMan=], Dr. Regal ([=BN5=]) and his henchmen, most DS Navis, [=DarkMega=] (in [=BN5=], he's the regular [=MegaMan=] with a purple tint while his [[Anime/MegaManNTWarrior anime]] counterpart has [=MegaMan=]'s outfit colored purple), Dark Chips, Nebula Grey, and [=EraseMan=], to name a few.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'' includes the purple blob-shooting Dark Beam that can [[FreezeRay freeze enemies]] with charged shots. [[DarkWorld Dark Aether]] is visually a copy of Light Aether, but darker and purplier, and is home to the dark purple Ing. Purple-colored doors require the Dark Beam to open them.
** In earlier stages of the game, the unique damage received from exposure to Dark Aether's atmosphere takes the form of purple circles rising across the DiegeticInterface, evoking the look of the atmosphere "boiling" against Samus's armor.
* The Shadow Sirens and Shadow Queen of ''PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' appear a fairly dark purple.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games:
** Some Dark-type moves are purple, even though the icon for the Dark type is black, with purple being used for the Ghost type. Likewise, a standard Shadow Pokémon has a black-purplish aura when detected. A Shadow Pokémon caught in Hyper or Reverse Mode has a blood-red aura instead.
** Gen 1 has an, ahem, interesting example of this. The original designers for Jynx gave her black skin, big lips, and blonde hair, but because people thought it was racist towards black people, they gave her purple skin instead.
* In the ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'' series, Feli, the [[YouCantFightFate dousing- and tarot-obsessed]] [[ElegantGothicLolita Gothic lolita-clad]] girl, and Klug, the [[{{Jerkass}} incredibly smug]] [[MrExposition know-it-all]] [[NerdGlasses spectacle-fancying]] [[BadassBookworm bookworm]] both wear purple, [[PurpleIsPowerful possibly to signify their confidence in their magic powers]]. Somehow, [[IrrationalHatred the two fight *very* often]].
* As the page quote points out, the Black Chronicle of ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'' appears purple.
* Shadow-based weaponry and attacks in ''VideoGame/SpiralKnights'' are typically purple.
* In the GBA (and some DS) VideoGame/SuperRobotWars games, many units intended to be black (most notably Anime/MazingerZ and its relatives) were either purple or nonexistent (in the case of the Astranagant), allegedly due to the GBA not displaying black properly. However, these were alongside the [[Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic M9 Gernsback]] and Gespenst S, which were light grey but still usable enough to be black. Especially considering the Mazingers had perfectly fine black in their cut-ins.
* Ganondorf has a purple flame effect on his special moves in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' does have a black Shadow, but the logo of his power is purple, though still represented with pitch black half the time.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' uses purple to denote the shadow like theme of TheCorruption, even the craftable Shadow Armor is purple (of course, armor dye can make it black if you wish).
* Bafflingly, Venom was colored purple in ''VideoGame/UltimateSpiderMan''.
* Played straight in ''[[VideoGame/TheDarkness The Darkness II]]'', with the Darkness itself. Its tentacles are dark purple while a few details glow violet. Interestingly, the trope is played straight in another way with the cover of the game as it shows the Darkness with a light and dark brown combination.
* In '''PhantasyStarOnline2'', Dark techniques always have at least a tinge of purple. Arguably justified since Dark techniques have a chance of poisoning the target and poison is also commonly associated with purple.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' spells and creatures associated with both the Void and Shadow use a combination of black and purple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Miku's hair in ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' is called black, but it clearly has some shade of purple. On the cover and in the introduction, it's a fairly bright purple, but apart from that, it tends to be grayish purple instead.
* Shin Kuroi in ''VisualNovel/{{Morenatsu}}'' is supposed to be a black cat, but his fur is always shown as purple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''WebComic/ElGoonishShive'', Tedd's hair was depicted as purple initially [[https://twitter.com/dantheshive/status/25314052263649280 for this reason]]. The author and the fans liked the color, however, and his hair became canonically purple. [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair Other wacky colors followed.]]
* ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'''s Nightmare Knight is black, but predominantly highlighted and shaded in violet tones. When he's referred to in conversation the RainbowSpeak is purple (normal text is black). His magic is also purple and starry, but in that case it is called its actual color rather than just dark or black.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/TheIrateGamer'', the [[EvilTwin Evil Gamer]] creates an army of MechaMooks based on the HAL-9000 from ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' (whose A.I. resides in a UsefulNotes/MagnavoxOdyssey). All of the robots have purple eyes, with the exception of the red-eyed head robot known as R.E.D. (Robotic Electromat Device).
* ''{{WebAnimation/RWBY}}'': Blake mostly dresses in black, but [[LittleBitBeastly her cat ears]] are indigo-furred.
* LampShaded by Yami Yugi in episode 61 of the ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' where he constantly points out the "Shadow Realm" is more purple than Black.
-->'''Melvin:''' Swiggity-Swaggo Realm, say hello to the Shadow Realm!
-->'''Yami:''' You know, it's really more of a Purple Realm than a Shadow Realm.
-->'''Melvin:''' Since I'm about to end you, Pharaoh--
-->'''Yami:''' Shadows aren't really known for being purple.
-->'''Melvin:''' SILENCE!
-->'''Yami:''' I'm just sayin'.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has this in spades with [[GodOfEvil Ultimate]] [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Dark]] [[EldritchAbomination Spirit]] Vaatu, the BigBad of Season 2; whenever he fires his dark beams, his RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver motif turns purple. It's also present in his prison and when he's released, it coats the entire Earth in a purple hue.
* Hay Lin from ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' has blueish-purple hair, which stands out amongst the cast of mostly normal hair colored teens. Her hair is described as black.
* On ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'', the BigBad Hawk Moth wears a predominantly purple outfit with black highlights.
* Kimi's hair in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' is black however often looks blue or purple depending on the scene.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other - Real Life]]
* Very common in dyed hair, while black hair has always been very fashionable, is also extremely common, so many people dye their hair with special dyes that add colored highlights under certain lighting conditions, with purple and other bluish colors being the most common.
** [[http://theoryhairsalon.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/purple2.jpeg Here's a subtle example]], and [[http://frisurenneuen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/7c468__punk-chic-purple-highlights-with-bangs.png this is a more notorious one]].
* Minzy from Music/TwoNEOne had purple streaks in her hair in the music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuNbqWQt0l0 "Clap Your Hands."]]
* When Lockheed make the [[{{CoolPlane}} F-117]] Stealth fighter, they first painted it in a pastel-like camo scheme that would help it hide for it's light bombing mission. The Air Force insisted on bight bombing and the black paint. Lockheed recommended a dark royal blue type color because ''black'' paints would [[RealityIsUnrealistic stand out on the night sky]]. The Air Force refused and the F-117 and the B-2 flew in black ever since.
[[/folder]]

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