Why are Referee Penalty Flags Gold or Yellow?

Jul 31st, 2015

When you think football referee, you think only in colors of black and white. But these days a football referee is quite colorful when you take a closer look. 

Fans often see some blue, gold and sometimes pink.

What many casual observers don't know is "that blue thing" tucked into a referee's belt is a throw down bag used for the purpose of marking various spots on the field.

And while most recognize that gold is the penalty flag color (or pink in October for breast cancer awareness), most don't know that the penalty flag color was white 50 years ago and the reason behind the change.

Read this NBC Sports article to find out.

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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