Dirty Birdz: History of the Atlanta Falcons Jersey

The Atlanta Falcons jersey has seen four color swaps over the span the team’s existence, which began in 1966. While the team’s colors have remained the same, the dominant colors have shifted almost by the decade from black to red, to black, and finally, to red again.

 

1966-1970

The Falcons debuted black jerseys with the team’s helmet logo on the jersey sleeves along with TV numbers at the shoulders, which was unusual at the time. Red outlines accompanied white numbers. As for the road jerseys, they consisted of black numbers with red outlines, along with the logo at the sleeves.

In 1968, the Falcons dropped the sleeve logo in favor of Northwestern stripes, with a white-black-red-black-white combo on the home jersey and a red-white-black-white-red combo on the road. Another version of striping appeared at the base of the jerseys, featuring thin black and red stripes against a white background.

 

1971-1989

Falcons 1980s red jersey

From 1971 to 1989, the Falcons redesigned their home jersey, now opting for a red home jersey, reducing black to a secondary color. The red jersey consisted of white numbers, black outlines, TV numbers on the sleeves, along with a white-red-black-red-white Northwestern stripe combo.

In 1978, silver was added to the team’s color palette. Both the home and road jerseys saw a redesign. The red home look now debuted silver numbers, outlined in black with a silver-red-black-red-silver striping combo. TV numbers were moved back to the shoulders and the helmet logo returned to the sleeves, between the TV numbers and striping.

On the road jersey, the Falcons switched the black numbers to red, outlined in black. Their striping combo also changed, featuring red-white-black-white-red along with shoulder numbers and the sleeve logo.

In 1979, alternate jerseys featuring a simpler striping pattern on the sleeves was introduced.

In 1987, the Falcons moved the sleeve logo directly over the sleeve stripes.

 

1990-2002

Falcons 1990-2002 Throwback

In 1990, the Falcons made a redesign back to black home jerseys, which hadn’t been seen in two decades. These jerseys consisted only of white numbering, red outlines, and the falcon logo at the sleeves. The whites saw two jerseys; one with red numbering and black outlines, and another with black numbering and red outlines. TV numbers appeared on only one side of the shoulders as a 35th anniversary patch appeared on the opposite shoulder.

In 1991, the red numbers were dropped and red as a whole was practically abandoned. This held until 1997, when the Falcons revived the red numbering.

 

2003-Present

Falcons current road jersey

In 2003, another radical redesign took place. The new primary home jersey featured a black base with a new numbering font. The white numbers kept the red outlines, as red piping went down the jersey’s midseam. Red and white sleeve panels, along with the logo ingrained within the panels.

The alternate red jersey was basically an inverse of the black, except a black side panel ran up the side of the jersey along with white and red sleeve panels.

The white jersey included red numbers, a black outline, and identical side and sleeve panels to the red alternates.

The next season, the red jerseys became primary, for the first time since 1989.

In 2009, the black alternates were retired in favor of historical alternates, all of which featured a black jersey, which are replicas of the team’s 1966 look.

In 2017, the Falcons debuted an all-red Color Rush, which appeared to be a modern inverse of the team’s black 1966 throwbacks. The numbers are black with white outlines while the team’s helmet logo resides on the jersey sleeves.

 

Shop Atlanta Falcons gear at FansEdge!

 

My Take

Oh boy, where to begin? The nice little piping, sleeve, and shoulder panels are something that hasn’t been in style since the year the team adopted the look. Okay, maybe it was simply a 2000s thing, but man, is this look dated. I’m glad to see the Falcons bring out the classic 1966 look (more of a faux back these days with the black helmets), but man, I would give an arm and a leg just to see the team scrap this outdated disaster of a combo.

Related Article: The Atlanta Falcons Helmet History

Gallery

1990-1996

Falcons 1990-1996 Road Jersey

 

Color Rush

Falcons Color Rush

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2 comments

  1. I lived in Rome Georgia for a year and went to see the Falcons back when Michael Vic was the quarterback. I think I liked the black jerseys they wore back then the best. I mixed on the Falcons, I grew to like them when I lived in Georgia but I have always liked the Saints. So I enjoy that rivalry quite a bit. The jerseys they have now are cool but I am partial to the balck ones. Their original jerseys were so ugly by the way.

    1. Hi, Lee, if the Falcons don’t bring back the red, I’d love to see the ‘Dirty Bird’ look you’re referring to. I’m a fan of the look and would love to see it return on a full-time basis. It’s very similar to the alternate look the team wears today, so we’ll see if they return to it. 

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