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The Giver tells him that he is beginning to see the color red and that long ago everything had a color; one of the colors was red. The apple and Fiona's hair are both particularly red, and the faces of the crowd have red tones, although flesh used to be many different colors. The genetic scientists are trying to eradicate things such as Fiona's red hair, but Sameness is still not entirely complete.
The sled was permanently red because it came from before Sameness, and The Giver says that he can see all the other colors as well, as will Jonas, who will gain wisdom as well as colors and other things. People decided long ago to end differences and convert to Sameness, which gave them control of many things but caused them to lose control of others.