The Cool Factor: Carolina Blue

One of the most notable colors in collegiate sports belongs to the University of North Carolina. Carolina blue, also known as Tar Heel blue, is the university's signature hue and aside from being distinctive, it's also quite lovely. So exactly why did UNC pick this particular shade of blue? The answer involves a bit of a history lesson.

Back in 1795, two collegiate societies were established at UNC: the Dialectic Society and the Philanthropic Society (known as Di and Phi). At the time, students were required to join one of the two and a bitter rivalry emerged, which led to dueling (yes, dueling!). As a result, administration eventually intervened and mandated new membership rules based on geography - students from the eastern part of North Carolina would belong to Phi and those from the western part of the state would belong to Di. As the two societies united in a Joint Senate, the once bitter rivalry became a little friendlier.

After the reorganization, each society chose a color. Di decided on a light blue and Phi chose white. From then on, light blue and white became the university's standard palette and when football became popular in the 1880s, the university made them the official colors.

The intense rivalry between Di and Phi continued for years until UNC abolished the requirement that undergraduate students had to be a member of one of the two societies, after which membership steadily declined. The university also established an independent student government in 1904, which greatly diluted the power of the societies. To this day, Di and Phi still meet together as the Joint Senate and have a presence on campus, but their greatest legacy will always be Carolina blue and white.

Fortunately for UNC fans, Carolina blue is a great color and incredibly wearable for both men and women. Here are TSR's top picks for Tar Heels:

UNC Tar Heels NCAA Nike Women's
Football Replica T-Shirt

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Nike
Light Blue Replica Basketball Jersey

UNC NCAA Two Pocket Cardigan

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Men's Elite Track Jacket

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Junior
Ladies Sorority Ruffle Dress

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Spread
Collar Gingham Button-Down Shirt

UNC NCAA Crystal Logo Pin

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA
Carolina Blue Diamond Tonal Silk Tie

UNC Tar Heels NCAA City Tote

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Gym Bag

UNC NCAA Women's Rainbow Westcape Sandals

UNC Tar Heels NCAA Men's
Campus Classics Toms

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Ladies
Allure Watch Stainless Bracelet

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Men's MVP Watch

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA iPhone 4 Silicone Case

North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA 10" iPad/Netbook Sleeve

What do you think of Carolina blue?


The Style Ref

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