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A History of Blue in New York City and its Sports Teams

The color blue is prevalent throughout New York City from the city’s flag to its sports teams.

Why blue?

New York City was originally founded by the Dutch as New Amsterdam in 1625. Blue was one of the three colors (along with white and orange) in the flag of the Dutch Republic – known as the Prince’s flag in honor of Prince William of Orange.

According to New York City’s website:

“A flag combining the colors orange, white and blue arranged in perpendicular bars of equal dimensions (the blue being nearest to the flagstaff) with the standard design of the seal of the city in blue upon the middle, or white bar, bearing the number 1625, which colors shall be the same as those of the flag of the United Netherlands in use in the year sixteen hundred twenty-five.”

With blue involved in the founding of the city – which was renamed New York City on Aug. 26, 1664 – it’s no surprise many of the professional sports teams have adopted color schemes involving blue.

The Rangers, Islanders, Giants, Mets, Yankees, Knicks and New York City FC have blue as a primary color. Even the Brooklyn Dodgers emphasized blue.

According to the New York Knicks website:

“In keeping with another New York tradition, the team’s colors have always (except for the years from 1980-81 through 1982-83) been orange, blue and white; the official colors of New York City.”

New York City FC’s colors and badge highlight the history of the city.

The badge is inspired by the old New York City Subway Token, created by the Transit Authority in 1953 and used for 50 years as the standard fare for a ride. The last version of the token had a cut out pentagon in the center representing the five boroughs, similar to what appears on either side of the monogram, to reinforce the Club’s connection to entire city. The circle is also a symbol of unity, wholeness and infinity, and is often associated with potential and the number one. This is a modern and confident badge that clearly speaks to New York City’s status as a leading city.

The badge features the typeface Gotham, a wholly American font inspired by the City’s signage. Born out of an in-depth study of building lettering in New York City, the monogram reflects the rich graphic language that is so much a signature of the five boroughs. The colors navy blue, white and orange are drawn from the New York City flag.

“This badge is to be the symbol of our Club, a symbol of our players and we hope in time, a symbol of this City,” Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said.

Despite being the newest club in Major League Soccer and the newest addition to the New York City professional sports landscape, it’s no surprise New York City FC is blue, through and through.

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