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Re: [OT]Aussie Colours Explained

From: "Alan and Carmel Brain" <aebrain@w...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 00:10:03 +1000
Subject: Re: [OT]Aussie Colours Explained

From: <>

> The sports dress of most nations'  teams include the color of their
> in their design.
> Strangely, the Australians wear green and yellow, which do not appear
> their national colors. I also have seen fans decked out in green and
> yellow.
> Can somebody from down under enlighten me about those colors ? I guess
> it is not just the whim of a designer ?

Green and Gold, (Or heraldicly, Vert and Or).

Short answer: it's been traditional since just after the country was
founded, but only made official in 1984.

Long Answer:

The Aus flag's colours are red, white and blue, just like a dozen other

The Unofficial story is that it's originally based on the colours worn
Irish Convicts playing Gaelic Football in the early 1800s, many of whom
been arrested and transported for various political offences.

The Irish Nationalist flag of the time is shown on

Note that the pre-1800 flag was the same design, but with a blue

Blue-and-Gold was tried as the first 'official' colour scheme, but
catch on.

The Official story is that the Green is for Gum trees, the Gold for

>From the Sydney Morning Herald:

It was not until April 19, 1984, that green and gold were officially
declared Australia's national sports colours by the then
Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen. The combination was, however, used
in the jumpers, blazers and caps of the Australian cricket
team to tour England in 1899, but was not ratified by the Australian
Cricket Board until 1908. It was also worn by the Australian
Olympic team in that year, while the Australian Rugby League adopted the
colours in 1928. Green and gold were the popular choice to
represent Australia internationally because the colours closely
resembled those of our national emblem the golden wattle.


While Australia's official sporting colours were adopted as blue and
gold before the end of the 1800s, none of its sporting teams
adopted the colours - or few perhaps even gave it a thought. Scarcely
any Australian sports of the late 1890s took up the colours of
the approaching Federation.

In 1897 when Harry Musgrove's troubled Australian Baseball Tour of
America arrived in Pittsburgh, they were welcomed at the Duquesne
Theatre which was 'decked out in blue and gold bunting for the
[ Ref: ]

The uncertainty of the willingness of the New Zealand colony to be part
of the coming Federation may have contributed to the lack of
any embracing of recognised 'Australian' symbols. As the 19th century
closed an entirely new Australian colour scheme made its first
appearance - green and gold.

In 1899 Joe Darling's Australian cricket team adopted the use of (gum)
green and (wattle) gold. The team which toured England had
green and gold integrated into their blazers, caps and jumpers. While
this is cited as Australian sports first use of these colours,
it would still be another 20 - 30 years before other sports followed.
Even Australian cricket's Board of Control did not itself
ratify use of the green and gold colours until 1908.

Also in 1908 the green and gold colours were used by some members of the
Australian Olympic team - although the Wallabies played
their one-off game for the "gold medal" in blue NSW Waratahs jerseys
with the word 'Australia' under the floral emblem.

>From The Dept of Foreign Affairs section on Australian Symbols (Flag,
Arms etc)

For many years, the motto 'Advance Australia' appeared on unofficial
Coats of Arms, even before the Federation of the States in
1901. It was included in the 1908 Arms, and was popularly accepted in
association with the 19th century song 'Advance Australia
Fair'. A revised version of this song officially became Australia's
national anthem in 1984 (see Fact Sheet on The Australian
National Anthem). On that same day, Australia also officially adopted
green and gold as its national colours. Until then, the nation
had no official national colours, although the use of green and gold by
Australia's international sporting teams had become a
tradition and had been associated with its Olympic teams since the

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