Color schlieren has come to mean, not only schlieren images in color, but images where the color can be quantitatively related to the directions of the density gradients in the flow field. A system essentially consisting of three conventional schlieren systems using knife-edge cutoffs, rotated 120 deg with respect to each other, where the light source for each system is in one of the three primary colors is described. It is shown that combinations of these colors (creating a unique color) on the schlieren image resulting from the angled cutoff configuration is a function of the direction of the density gradient only. A variety of relatively inexpensive methods of producing the primary color beams are tested and it is shown that a color beamsplitter using dichroic filters with three standard commercial xenon flash tubes is suitable to obtain good results for high-speed applications. For steady flow applications, a single incandescent lamp used in conjunction with color filters and a diffusing screen is shown to be adequate for qualitative results.