National colours of Australia

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"Green and gold" redirects here. For the ornamental herb, see Green-and-gold.
Australian marathon runners wearing green and gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games

The national colours of Australia are green and gold.[1] They were formally proclaimed by the then Governor-General of Australia, Sir Ninian Stephen, on 19 April 1984; on advice from the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Prior to 1984 three colour combinations unofficially represented Australia: – red, white and blue, – blue and gold, and – green and gold.[2]

The exact green & gold colours are specified as being Pantone Matching System numbers 348C and 116C, and are always referred to as "green and gold", respectively. Prior to this date the 'unofficial' colours had been traditionally blue and gold, but since the Second World war there had been an increasing switch to green and gold.

Scheme Green Gold
Pantone 348 C 116 C
CMYK 100%–4%–87%–18% 0%–12%–100%–0%

Green and gold are the traditional team colours of Australian national sporting teams, and nearly every current Australian national sports team wears them (although the hues and proportions of the colours may vary between teams and across eras).

It is widely believed[3] that the colours were chosen because they are the dominant colours of Australia's floral emblem, Acacia pycnantha (the golden wattle).

It is also largely accepted[4] that the colours (green and gold) form part of the Australian identity through the sporting traditions of the country-like that of the Vexillological colours of the Australian national flag. The colours have great significance, and their use has a prized place in the Australian spirit and mentality.

The colours are synonymous with Australian culture and Australians, characteristically, with its national sporting representative teams (by the notion that sport, in general, forms part of 'the Australian character').

Green and gold are together embodied on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the official symbol of the Australian government. Australia's coat of arms features the golden wattle, an ornate fixture to the sanctioned shield.

Prior to independence and subsequent Federation in 1901, Australia's cricket team first wore the colours in 1899, expressed through the baggy green, the cap presented to Australian cricket players.[5]

Perceptively, the colours are primarily linked with Australian sporting accomplishments and have fervent environmental relationships with many Australians. Gold is a reflection of Australia's beaches, mineral affluence, arid shrub/scrublands and desert areas of the island-continent nation. Green represents the flora of its forests, eucalyptus leaves and meadowlands of the Australian countryside.


Teams that wear the green and gold include:

Since 1961, the Wallabies have worn a gold jersey with green lettering and trim; they changed from a primarily green jersey to avoid a colour clash with the Springboks of South Africa.

Companies and organisations[edit]

From around 1981 the colours were also used in the livery of the government railway body Australian National, formed by the 1970s merger of Commonwealth Railways with the state-run South Australian Railways and Tasmanian Government Railways. Australian National was privatised in 1997.


The first Australian national sporting team to wear green and gold was the Australian cricket team that toured England in 1899. Their clothes were the traditional white, but the captain Joe Darling arranged for green and gold caps and blazers to be worn for the opening match of the Ashes series. Previously, the team had had no uniform cap or blazer colours but wore an assortment of club or state colours.[8] The Australian cricket team continued to use the colours thereafter, and in 1908 the colours were ratified as the official team colours for future Australian cricket teams. During subsequent discussions by members of the New South Wales Cricket Association, the colours were reportedly referred to as "gum-tree green" and "wattle-gold".

The Australasian Olympic team adopted "green and wattle" in 1908, but not every team played in the colours. In the 1912 Olympics, an official Australian uniform was adopted for the first time: green vests with gold trimming, and white shorts with green and gold trimming.

Of the football codes, the Australian national soccer team first wore green and gold in 1924 with the Australian national rugby league team and Australia national rugby union team following in 1928 and 1929 respectively.[9][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our national symbols". Australian Government. 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Our common bond (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 2013. 
  4. ^ "our national symbols". Australian Government. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "History behind sporting colours uncovered". The National Sports Museum. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Weekend Australian, 30–31 December 2000, p. 17
  9. ^ "To-day's Diary – Fashion and the Game". Evening News. 10 May 1924. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Fagan, Sean. "To Wattle Gold and Gum Green Jerseys". Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "History of Rugby". Australian Rugby Union. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 

Further reading[edit]