Talkin’ National Flag Blues

Dale Nosel, wearing blue and white paint, marches with his classmates along Fairfield Way during the the 2007 Commencement procession. (Peter Morenus/UConn File Photo)
Dale Nosel, wearing blue and white paint, marches with his classmates along Fairfield Way during the the 2007 Commencement procession. (Peter Morenus/UConn File Photo)

Everyone knows what UConn’s official colors are. After all, it’s right there in the University’s fight song: “vict’ry again for the White and Blue.” But which blue are we talking about?

Generations of Huskies remember hearing our signature shade described as National Flag Blue, but as we discover in this segment from Episode 26 of UConn360, it isn’t quite that simple. The story of how UConn got its colors – and what colors those are – involves distant memories of the 1890s, a visit to the head research chemist at the old American Thread Co. in Willimantic, and an exasperated athletic director tired of uniforms that didn’t look, well, uniform. Along the way we learn that the blue in “the White and Blue” once may have been closer to the light shade favored by the University of North Carolina than to today’s familiar dark hue, and we talk about how something called the Pantone system changed our colors forever.

Don’t worry, though: once you’ve listened, you’ll still be able to cheer on the next vic’try of the White and Blue.

Listen to Tom Breen discuss the history of UConn blue on the UConn360 Podcast:

 

Read more about the history of the White and Blue: www.advance.uconn.edu/2000/

For full episodes of the UConn 360 podcast, visit uconn.edu/uconn360-podcast.