Aussies take great price in their state of origin, and that pride is taken to a new level when we are pitted against each other in sport, particularly if the two east-coast neighbours are involved.
Yet, you can no doubt remember a time when Queensland wasn’t officially the ‘Maroons’. That’s because although the colour maroon has been used by Queensland as the state’s identifier on the sports field for at least 130 years, it only officially became the ‘state colour’ on November 13, 2003.
A blog by Double Shot Media explains that the colour originally was taken up by Queensland because maroon was the tone used for the robes of Queen Victoria, and being QUEENS-land, it was seen as the fitting one for the state. The blog goes on to say that Queensland Rugby Union starting using maroon for its uniforms back in 1895 for that very royal reason.
NSW’s adoption of sky blue, meanwhile, is less clear. The state itself has no official colour, although its flag features a good amount of darker blue, to indicate its close alliance with the United Kingdom.
Did you know, though, that although the national colours of green and gold – to reflect the golden wattle, our national flower – have long been worn by Aussie athletes, even since the late 1800s, the colours weren’t made official until April 19, 1984, by then Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen, at the request of then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
Australians wore the colour to the Olympics for the first time in 1912, and for rugby league and rugby union internationals for the first time in 1928 and 1929 respectively.