The University of Texas at Austin

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  • Changing colors: The history of burnt orange and white

    Changing colors: The history of burnt orange and white

    By Christopher Palmer and Taylor McCausland
    Christopher Palmer and Taylor McCausland
    Published: Aug. 18, 2010

    Jim Nicar, director of the Texas Exes UT Heritage Society, recounts how the university chose burnt orange and white as its colors. For some years, different athletic teams tried various color combinations — including bright orange, maroon and blue — before finally putting the matter to a vote.

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    • Quote 2
      Dan said on Aug. 16, 2012 at 9:33 a.m.
      The Burnt Orange Answer The Board of Regents decided to hold an election to settle the matter. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were all invited to send in their ballots. Out of the 1,111 votes cast, 562 were for orange and white, a majority by just seven votes. Orange and maroon receive 310, royal blue 203, crimson 10, royal blue and crimson 11, and few other colors scattered among the remaining 15 votes. For almost thirty years, UT athletic teams wore bright orange on their uniforms, which usually faded to a yellow by the end of the season after having been washed a few times. By the 1920s, other college teams sometimes called the Longhorn squads "yellow bellies," a term that didn't sit well with the athletic department. In 1928, UT football coach Clyde Littlefield ordered uniforms in a darker shade of orange that wouldn't fade, and would become known as "burnt orange" or "Texas orange." The dark-orange color remained until part-way though the Great Depression in the 1930s, when the dye became too expensive. UT uniforms were bright orange for another two decades, until football coach Darrell Royal revised the burnt orange color in the early 1960s.
    • Quote 2
      Y Akanji said on Nov. 18, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
      This website has the answer to the "burnt orange" question: http://texasexes.org/uthistory/traditions.aspx?tradition=orangewhite