Did You Know LSU’s Colors Used to be Blue and White?
The college football season is upon us and many fans sport their favorite team's colors on Fridays throughout the season to show support.
In Louisiana, that means a lot of purple and gold because of a particular school in Baton Rouge -- the LSU Tigers.
But, have you ever wondered, "Why those colors?"
The answer is a bit windy, but kind of simple.
To start, we have to go back to the early days -- the really early days.
Col. David F. Boyd was head of LSU from 1865 to 1880 and again from 1884 to 1886. During the second stint, he became the official first president in LSU's history.
When Boyd returned to the university a few years after his last tenure at the school, he was surprised to find purple and gold as LSU's colors.
Why? Well, he distinctly remembered designating blue and white as the colors many years earlier.
In Boyd's absence, LSU professor and the university's first football coach Charles Coates, along with some of his players, went out in search of ribbon to brighten up their 1893 fall football game against a team of mostly ex-Tulane players. They headed to a local store and found a large supply of Mardi Gras ribbons.
[Fun Fact: Coates lost the only game he ever coached the Tigers in, that 1893 game by a final of 34-0. So, career record 0-1.]
While no one in the group knew of any LSU team colors, they ended up leaving the store with a pile of Mardi Gras-colored ribbons. However, the green ribbons had not yet been delivered to the store, so that left them with only purple and gold.
The team used those ribbons to brighten things up indeed, so much so that everyone loved it so much that the colors stuck and kind of just became the school's new colors.
This above account was given by coach Charles Coates in a letter to the LSU Alumni News in 1937.
But wait, there's more...
While many recount that story fondly, there could have been more to the story.
Other reports say that purple and gold were worn for the first time by an LSU team in the spring of 1893 when the LSU baseball team beat Tulane in the first intercollegiate contest played in any sport by LSU.
Reportedly, team captain E.B. Young hand-picked those colors for the LSU squad.
So we may not really know the origins
Yep, two different stories on how LSU's school colors became purple and gold. OK, the colors are technically Royal Purple and Old Gold.
Whatever the real story is, it sure seems that LSU faithful have been happy with the choice and have proudly displayed those colors ever since.
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