Hymn To the… Purple and Gold?

Happy College Colors Day! To celebrate, we wanted to share an interesting bit of our university’s history with you. Though Florida State University is recognized by its garnet and gold school colors, FSU’s predecessor institutions went through several color changes before settling on the iconic combination that we are so familiar with today. 

Florida State College colors and yell lyrics. Argo 1901

The story of our college colors goes back to 1901, when our institution was known as the Florida State College (FSC). Official school colors for FSC were purple and gold. The school’s young football team was known to wear purple and gold uniforms on the field during its first few seasons.

Florida State College football team wearing “letter sweaters” with purple F’s. Argo 1903

In 1905, reorganization of education in Florida resulted in Florida State College becoming a women’s institution, known as the Florida Female College initially and then as Florida State College for Women (FSCW). Student athletes at FSCW took part in intramural games and were in teams determined by their gradation years. Odd and Even teams were comprised of students graduating in odd and even years respectively. Odds wore red, white, and purple uniforms, while the Evens wore green and white uniforms during their events and competitions. Over time, the Florida Flambeau began referring to the Odd teams as garnet and the Even teams as gold. Years later, in 1947, the university became coeducational once again and, on October 18th of that year, the Seminoles came onto the field for the first time in garnet and gold.

Evens and Odds team cheers referencing team colors. Flastacowo 1926

To learn about other FSU traditions, including the history of the Odds and Evens, check out the Heritage & University Archives Research Guide or our digitized Heritage & University Archives materials on DigiNole. Go Noles!

Published by Stuart Rochford

Studio Manager of the Digital Library Center at Florida State University

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