• News
  • Top lists

The Curious Case of Jersey Colors: Nations Defying Flag Conventions

Getty Images

Many nations choose the colors of their jerseys based on their flag, serving as a clear representation of their identity.

However, a few countries opt for colors that seemingly have no connection to their national flags. Let’s explore the intriguing stories behind seven such nations.

Germany: White and Black Legacy

Germany, the host of this year’s Euros, sports a kit featuring a white shirt and black shorts. Interestingly, these colors are absent from the German flag. The tradition dates back to the German Football Federation’s founding in 1900. At that time, white was the national color of Prussia (1867-1918). Despite changes over the years, these colors have remained a staple of German football.

Miroslave Klose at Germany
“Miroslav Klose” by theglobalpanorama is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Italy: The Azzurri Blue

Italy’s national teams are famously known as Gli Azzurri, meaning “The Blues,” despite their flag not featuring blue. This tradition originates from the reign of the monarchy (1861-1946), during which the Italian Football Federation was established. The blue represents the royal House of Savoy, symbolizing Italy’s regal heritage.

Japan: A Good Luck Charm

Japan’s football team dons blue jerseys, a color absent from their national flag, which features a white background with a red circle. This choice is rooted in superstition: during the 1936 Olympics, Japan’s football team defeated Sweden 3-2 wearing blue, but lost when wearing red. Since then, blue has been considered a good luck charm.

The Netherlands: The Orange Connection

The Netherlands’ orange jerseys have historical significance dating back to the 16th century. During the Eighty Years’ War for independence from Spanish rule, Prince William III of Orange played a key role. After achieving independence, the Dutch adopted orange in honor of Prince William, a tradition that continues in their national football team’s colors.

Australia: The Golden Wattle

Australian sports teams often wear yellow, a color not found on their flag. This choice symbolizes the Acacia pycnantha, Australia’s national flower. The golden wattle represents unity and national pride, deeply rooted in Australia’s identity since before its unification in 1901.

Venezuela: The Mystery of Dark Red

Venezuela’s national team wears dark red, distinct from the lighter red in their flag. Theories abound regarding this choice. Some suggest it results from blending the flag’s colors, though this is inaccurate as it would produce purple. Another theory links the color to the Venezuelan army. The most logical explanation is that the federation wanted to distinguish Venezuela’s colors from neighboring Colombia and Ecuador.

Kuwait: The Blue of Sea and Sky

Kuwait’s national team wears blue, a color not present in their flag. This choice reflects the significance of the blue sea and sky in Kuwaiti culture, symbolizing the connection to pearl hunting and the vastness of the universe.


These nations highlight how jersey colors can carry deep historical, cultural, and even superstitious meanings beyond their national flags. Whether for legacy, symbolism, or distinction, these unique choices add a fascinating layer to the world of sports.

Do you know any other nations that defy flag conventions in their jersey colors? Let us know in the comments. If you live in any of these countries, did you know the story behind your jersey color? Remember to leave a like if you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our channel, and turn on bell notifications so you never miss out on new content. See you next time!