London Olympics… British seeing red over too much blue

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

London Olympics - British Uniform - red, white and blue. This opens a new browser window.

If you think colour doesn’t matter, try saying that to the Brits who are not at all happy with the British Olympic uniform not sticking to right proportion of the national colours. Some even say the uniform represents Scotland not Britain because of the high percentage of blue.

Even though red is being used, it appears it is the relegation of red people aren’t happy with as that is the colour that represents England in the Union Jack. They don’t see the uniform as being representative of Britain.

It seems if you mess with the proportions of colour and you’ll hear about, which Stella McCartney has certainly experienced “If there wasn’t “Great Britain” across the top, I’m not sure I would be able to guess which country they’re from,” was one comment the Adidas’ Facebook page. Another commented “… the GB flag is RED white and blue, NOT blue, grey and blue …”

colour association
When it comes to national events and there really isn’t one bigger than the Olympic games, associating yourself to your nation’s colours is the single most visible way for not only athletes to show which nation they are competing for, but for fans to show which country they are supporting and cheering on.

Having been raised in Australia, I took a look at the Australian uniform. The national flag is also red, white and blue, but when it comes to sporting events, the colours that symbolise Australia are the green and gold of the national flower, the golden wattle.

With the high percentage of gold used, what better colour to symbolise going for gold!

London Olympics - Australian Uniform - green and gold. This opens a new browser window.

What do you think of the use of colour for the British uniforms, or perhaps even the colours of your home country?

Images: Adidas FaceBook | – © Matt King / Getty Images

Sources: | | Adidas FaceBook

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  1. Nicola Holden on August 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Very interesting Karen!! Something I hadn’t really thought about. Haven’t they done tests which show that athletes perform better in red?

    • admin on August 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Nicola,

      You’re right. In colour psychology, red is one of the colours that can help athletes on a physical, stamina level. Blue is a colour that can assist with playing a mental, tactical game.

      This controversy is on a cultural level – not being able to identify and relate to the uniforms due to the proportion the colours were used in. I am a bit baffled why they decided to use grey given it isn’t one of the national colours.

  2. Barbara Pareglio on August 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Karen,

    it’s quite a nice topic of discussion. Personally I think that the English uniform are quite nice this year. It is easy to recognize GB athletes amongst others, as you know red-white-blue is probably the most common colour combination in flags so it gets quite difficult to distinguish different countries.
    The only 2 countries that are really easy to spot are indeed Australia and the Netherlands, both they don’t use the colours of the flag, but the ‘national’ colours.
    The important thing is that athletes in the uniforms do really feel that they are representing GB in the games.


    • admin on August 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Barbara,

      You’re absolutely right, there are quite a number of countries that do have red, white and blue in their national flag. Australia and The Netherlands deciding to use symbolic colours instead certainly helps them to stand out.

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