Carolina blue

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Carolina blueHow to read this color infobox
University of North Carolina Tarheels Interlocking NC logo.svg
Common connotations
University of North Carolina
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #56A0D3
sRGBB  (rgb) (86, 160, 211)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (62, 22, 0, 3[1])
HSV       (h, s, v) (204°, 59%, 83%)
Source Pantone
Color space PMS
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Carolina blue (occasionally referred to as Tar Heel blue) is the shade of blue used as one of the official school colors of the University of North Carolina. The name is derived from the popular usage of "Carolina" to refer to the university. For clarity in branding and marketing, UNC Creative has defined the color as Pantone 542 and declared that the closest RGB representation is #56A0D3.[2]

Use of the light blue color at UNC dates from 1795 when the Dialectic (blue) and Philanthropic (white) Societies of the university chose representative colors. Society members would wear a blue or white ribbon at university functions, and blue or white ribbons were attached to the diplomas of graduates.[3] When football became a popular collegiate sport in the 1880s, the UNC football team adopted the light blue and white of the Di-Phi Societies as the school colors.[4]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ UNC Creative. "Carolina Blue & Color Guidelines". Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Culture Corner: Di-Phi: The Oldest Organization", Carolina Review, vol. XIII, no. 6 (March 2006), p. 13. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  4. ^ "Joining the Societies, Information Petitioners Should Know, Origin of Colors", Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.