Warriors of New Columbia: History of the Washington Redskins Jersey

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.

 

==> Click Here for the Redskins Helmet History <==

 

1960s-1970s

Redskins 1969-1978 jersey.

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.

 

==> Click Here for the Redskins Team Profile <==

 

1980s-Present

Redskins 1979-2000 jersey.

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.

 

Shop Washington Redskins gear at FansEdge.com

 

My Take

Redskins current white jersey

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.

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9 comments

  1. This is a lovely clean post which is so clear to read and I love that. You presented the history of the Washington Redskins jersey very well and any fan would be stoked to read this! So many changes throughout the years as you mentioned yet as you also explain in your take they have reverted back to a design that represents the beginning but also in my opinion a stylish way. Thank you for this article 🙂

    1. I figured the Redskins would be more challenging considering their 88-season existence but I came to find they had very few uniform changes in the past, which made it one of my shorter and easier teams to write about. Despite their long history, they stuck with the same color scheme and very identical uniforms, never really undergoing a complete jersey overhaul. 

  2. Hello,

    I seriously like the idea of someone investigating and taking the time to record the history of NFL jerseys and helmets. I am a football fan and have been for years.  Finding this kind of information on the history of how the teams developed over the years is interesting and nostalgic.  I am looking forward to reading more of your articles on the helmets and jerseys of the other NFL teams.

    Considering most of my family are football fans I plan on recommending your website to them.

    Thank you,

    Susan

    1. Hi, Susan, for me it’s all about being able to get my facts straight, since different sources will claim different things. The Gridiron Database is one of the greatest sites I’ve come across as a source. My niche is more into giving a descriptive representation using pictures as a supplement, but this site has many awesome recreations of what teams wore in the past. 

  3. Hi Todd!
    Great article! I’m a fan of history, but never thought about relating history to a football team’s jersey. But I was very interesting to read, though I am not a big football fan. The jersey really had a very big change in the 60s, but from then on the colors remain very similar. Is there a meaning behind the jersey’s colors? And, do you think it is possible that the jersey changes in the future? It seems like it is not very usual that the jersey’s design changes frequently, unlike soccer teams’ clothes, that change almost every year. 

    Best, 

    Mariana

    1. Hi, Mariana, there are a lot of great historical sites out there regarding NFL uniforms, but nothing really gave the due diligence of combining descriptions with photos. There are a lot of great photo sites out there one can use for historical purposes, but apart from Wikipedia, I felt the descriptive side was lacking. Some teams definitely have a meaning behind their colors as well as their names. That article would fit greatly into this particular niche as well, so it looks like I’ll have to write one up about it! 

  4. Hi and thanks for creating this great site. 

    I’m a long time KC Chiefs fan, which hasn’t always been easy!

    I appreciate that you gave equal space to each team, not delegating the lower ranked teams to an afterthought as so many sites do. The historical perspective was especially interesting. It’s amazing how far the development of engineered fiber jerseys and shock protective helmets has come since the early days of the game. And the fact that that KC was once the Dallas Texans is something not everyone may have known.

    I really enjoyed your site, and learning more about the various evolutions of the teams that make up the AFC and NFC.

    Well done,

    KyleAnn

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