I see your point, but should a database be structured that way? E.g.
Say the item is a car with a range of monochrome body colors (red, black or silver), that database structure would not be appropriate anyway.
Say the car has a two tone color scheme and a choice of tyres:
Color1 is the body color (red, black or silver).
Color2 is the color of the roof (body color or cream).
Color3 is the color of the tyres (black or white walled).
a) If there was only one combination of roof and tyre color per body color, then, again, that structure would be inappropriate.
b) Whereas if color1, color2 and color3 can be freely selected, then the structure might make sense.
However, even if b) applies, as there are (in this case) only 12 combinations, you could allocate a code to each combination and simply store the code rather than the individual colors.