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Yale University (U.S.)

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[Flag of Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut] by Joe McMillan

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Description of the flag

Yale was established in 1701 as the Collegiate School and renamed Yale College, after Elihu Yale, in 1718. It is the third oldest university in the US, after Harvard and Virginia's College of William and Mary. It became Yale University in 1887, with the name Yale College maintained (as at Harvard) for the undergraduate element. The arms are Azure an open book proper inscribed in Hebrew characters "Urim v'Thummim." These arms date back to 1736. Yale formerly flew a blue flag with its name in white block letters but now has a banner of its arms (see photograph; it is the farthest to the viewer's right of the four flags on the stage; I think the white one with blue seal between this and the Connecticut flag must be that of the city of New Haven.) As has been previously discussed on the list, Yale blue is very dark--approximately the same as the blue on the stars and stripes. In addition, Yale College and the schools and residential colleges use banners of their own distinctive arms or the arms on a blue or white field, as seen in the picture mentioned above.

University Colors

Yale University's website has a page on the history of the university color,, which says the Pantone equivalent is currently PMS 289. Other websites variously call PMS 285 or 286 "Yale blue." The law specifies it as Standard Color Card Cable No. 70086. In any case, the Yale page makes clear that it is a very dark blue.
Joe McMillan, 19 November 2003

When the University of California was deciding its colors in the 1860s-70s, it was decided that gold would represent the state's principal natural resource and blue would honor Yale, the alma mater of most of the new university's founders.
Joe McMillan, 19 November 2003

I can attest that Yale does indeed use a very dark blue. Similar shades are known as "Navy" blue or "midnight" blue. They are at least as dark as "old glory" blue of the U.S. flag or the Navy blue of the NY Yankee uniform, which I took in the past to be black.
Albert S. Kirsch, 20 November 2003

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