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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.
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. 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.