The Washington Redskins jersey has seen many changes since the team’s inception in 1932 as the Boston Braves to the present day here in 2019. The team’s familiar color palette of burgundy and gold came into fruition in 1936 when they were known as the Boston Redskins and the beginnings of the current look of the uniform.
As with the other old NFC franchises, the team’s look before 1960 can be found here at the Gridiron Uniform Database. As one can see that except for a couple seasons when blue donned the look, familiarity between the days of old and today can definitely be noticed.
Prior to 1960
When the team was founded, their jerseys looked as if they belonged in the NHL, featuring long-sleeved sweaters with a photo of a Native American on the front. These jerseys were red, with either white or gold numbering.
Starting in 1936, the Redskins adopted the familiar burgundy jersey with gold numbers, with white outlines. Over the next decade, they would switch off between white numbers with the burgundy tops and gold, while wearing burgundy numbers with the white jerseys.
The famed Native American head logo donned the sleeves and shoulders of the jersey from 1937 to 1940.
They also added blue as a primary jersey color in 1942 and 1943 before reverting back to their familiar color scheme.
These jerseys were very basic in nature, containing no stripes or markings except for a single season in 1956 when they adopted a vertical striping pattern. The stripes were gold-white-gold on the home look, and the road look consisted of burgundy-gold-burgundy.
TV numbers were added to the jersey sleeves in 1957 and have remained there ever since.
Starting in 1957, the Redskins continued the vertical striping on the road jerseys, which now included just a single burgundy vertical stripe.
Other than the striping, the jerseys remained the same until 1969, when horizontal sleeve stripes accompanied the look. The stripes on the home burgundy jersey took on a gold-burgundy (red)-white-red-gold-red-white-red-gold pattern while the road whites adopted a simpler red-gold-red-gold-red pattern.
They also placed the NFL logo on one side of their jersey shoulders for the 1969 season to commemorate the league’s 50th anniversary.
These jerseys remained constant throughout the 1970s until 1979.
The Redskins’ first minor uniform overhaul came in 1979 when they adopted a new sleeve pattern on the jersey, a simpler one that consisted of one burgundy and one gold stripe on the sleeves for the white jersey plus white on gold for the burgundy. Gold outlines were also added as trim on the team’s numbers.
This look remained constant throughout the 1980s until 1999, when the sleeve pattern was thinned dramatically, literally cut almost in half.
There has been very little change to the Redskins’ jerseys since then, and they’ve only chosen to wear throwbacks of years’ past as third jerseys.
Even the team’s Color Rush jersey patter consisted of the same jersey as their home burgundy look.
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The Redskins’ jerseys represent timelessness, and while I’m a purist I prefer the team’s latest jersey additions, since they better resemble their original looks unveiled in the 1940s.
The look is timeless and beyond classic, something that shouldn’t be messed with even if the name controversy forces the team to change their name to something like the Braves or the Warriors. The color scheme fits and the lack of logos on the look can make them blend with any name they decide to adopt later on if called to.
The Redskins have also seen seasons where they would wear white at home on a predominant basis, but this trend has faded in recent years as they have continued to prefer their burgundy tops over white, mainly wearing white on the road when their opponents wear their dark look.
For photos of the Redskins uniforms throughout the years, click here.