The Philadelphia Eagles jersey history dates back to the team’s founding in 1933, when they succeeded the Frankford Yellow Jackets, who had existed until 1931. The Eagles initial colors mimicked that of the Yellow Jackets, which were powder blue and yellow. These are also the colors of Philadelphia’s flag.
Since the Eagles have a long, winding uniform history, I’ll link a watercolor of their earliest uniforms here, and begin when the team switched to their more familiar colors of green, silver, and white, with black coming to the color scheme later on.
In 1941, the Eagles switched things up, dropping what would become familiar green and white, which the team held since 1935 while opting for a simpler scheme of black and white.
In 1942, when combining with the Pittsburgh Steelers, nicknamed ‘the Steagles,’ for a season due to player shortages as World War II was in full force, they changed colors again, this time to green and white, resembling the looks of what was to come in the future.
All of these jerseys were unique since they contained a single sleeve stripe running vertically up the sides and across the shoulders. This trend started when the team adopted the old Frankford Yellow Jackets’ uniforms and again in 1941 (they dropped the look between 1935-1940), which lasted until 1948 when the Eagles adopted two horizontal sleeve stripes.
In 1949, another change was made, discarding the sleeve stripes. The green jerseys consisted only of white numbering while the whites took on green numbering.
In 1959, the green, horizontal sleeve stripes returned to both jerseys.
The Eagles again remove the stripes, this time opting for player numbers at the sleeves, dubbed TV numbers, which became more prevalent as the popularity of TV rose.
In 1967, the Eagles made a unique move, adding both two vertical shoulder stripes and two horizontal sleeve stripes, nestling the TV number between the two.
In 1972, the Eagles again dropped the striping pattern and opted for a plain look, while introducing black to the color scheme for the first time as outlines outside the numbers.
The jersey saw a radical redesign come 1974, featuring a return of the striping, this time with three bands of sleeve stripes as the TV numbers migrated to the shoulders. Within the three bands of striping. For the road jerseys, the team placed five green stripes along with two silver stripes. Silver outlines also accompanied the green numbers.
On the green home jerseys, the green striping was replaced with white while the white numbers received silver outlines.
In 1985, the team again did away with striping, instead adding the team’s flying eagle logo to both the home and road jerseys.
1990s and Beyond
The most radical redesign came in 1996, when the Eagles switched to a darker shade of green, dubbed midnight green. White became more prevalent and also, black was re-introduced.
These uniforms consisted of a new numbering font, with midnight green home jerseys, a black collar, and a single black stripe at the sleeve’s base. Midnight green numbers with black outlines accompanied the road whites, while white numbers with black outlines joined the home look. Also a new logo was introduced, featuring a cartoonish eagle head, which the team added to the sleeve’s base on the home jersey while TV numbers graced the shoulders, as became common practice starting in the late 1990s. In 1997, the eagle logo was also added to the whites.
A small change occurred in 2003, when the team added more black dropshadow to both the home and road jersey numbers.
The Eagles, like many in the early 2000s, introduced an alternate black jersey, which resembles the home look except for green dropshadow outlined with silver trim on the numbering. This jersey also served as the team’s Color Rush look.
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Could be worse. Could be way worse, but when Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Laurie was asked about the 1996 uniform overhaul, he stated ‘our fans want us to look less like the Jets.’
Well, the Jets changed their look in 1998, which featured a white helmet and while the team has reverted back to green, called Gotham green, it once more resembles the Eagles. So, if the Eagles want to look less like the Jets, why not switch back to the old kelly green look?
Kelly green and silver donned the Eagles’ uniforms for ages until the radical redesign in 1996. Maybe it’s time to return to normalcy?
Source: The Gridiron Uniform Database