Orange and Blue

Sometimes, you have to wonder who, at the University of Florida, came up with the idea of Orange and Blue for the school colors. The colors seem to be incompatible and seemingly would not be a good mix. So who could possibly think they would go together?

I have no idea. But I have a suspicion.

In the late spring when the last of the cold fronts push into the peninsula, the sky is completely devoid of clouds. During the day, the blue is truly the definition of “sky blue.”

At sunset, however, the sun and the sky combine in ways which almost defy description.

When the sun is just below the horizon, and the world moves from day to dark, the western Florida sky becomes absolutely spectacular. The hues change from yellow-light on the horizon capped by a darker sky blue above. Then they start dimming darker. What then happens is that for about four minutes or so, the shades of color perfectly match the school’s colors of orange on the horizon and blue in the sky.

I mean perfectly.

I have been in Florida a long time. I have spent a lot of time in Gainesville in classes at the University or Florida. Unlike some of my classmates, I did not bleed Orange and Blue when cut, but I know those colors – very well.

I often pondered the question of the school’s colors before and had no answers or ideas. I also lacked the motivation to investigate the possibilities.

However, the answer became obviously clear to me while driving down Highway 16 after the last strong cold front pushed through this past early spring. There were the colors.

As I motored the highway under the setting sun, I knew these were the colors of Florida. In my mind’s eye, I could see Juan Ponce de Leon, the Timucuans and other Seminoles, the early settlers, and present day Floridians, all watching the same sunset, adorned with the perfect shades of Orange and Blue.

No doubt, Orange and Blue are the proper school colors.


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