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Juiced About Orange: Flyers Jerseys Have Appeal

Philadelphians have some strange notions.

Their signature sandwich includes Cheez Whiz. A Tastykake would impress no one who has ever had a Ding Dong, Ho-Ho or Twinkie. They are responsible for both Hall and Oates.

But orange you glad they have a hockey team?

The Philadelphia Quakers wore orange jerseys for their single, lamentable National Hockey League season in 1930-31. The Philadelphia Flyers, when they joined the league in their initial season (1967-68) — expansion from the “Original Six” era — brought orange back to a league otherwise without citrusy sweaters.

An instant classic when it debuted, the Flyers’ jersey has undergone subtle tweaks over the years, but the orange — except for two misguided seasons — has endured.

Bully — Broad Street, naturally — for them.

Logo Love

Of course, there is no discussion of the Flyers’ aesthetics without first addressing their absolutely perfect logo.

The team was named in a contest — first prize, a 21-inch color TV — sponsored by a local grocery chain. Nine-year-old Alec Stockard (he spelled it “Fliers”) was the winner. The logo was designed by Sam Ciccone, an artist with a Philadelphia advertising firm commissioned for the job.

To look at the winged “P” logo is to see a puck, and of course a “P” for “Philadelphia,” plus a wing that gives the logo motion and screams “Flyers.” Plus, the bottom feather and slanted line of the wing evoke a hockey stick. No wonder it has been a constant throughout the team’s existence.

Here’s a look at the Flyers’ jerseys over the years:

1967: Ciccone designed this look as well, coming up with an orange jersey and a white one. Both had black cuffs and a black, V-neck collar. The orange jersey had a white, wrist-reaching shoulder yoke, a white waist stripe and black-trimmed white numbers. The white jersey reversed those touches.

1981: We pause our sweater retrospective to acknowledge the Flyers’ debut of Cooperalls, or long pants, which goalies hated because they obscured the puck, and players discovered caused them to slide more violently into the boards because of reduced friction. The NHL banned them for the 1983 season.

1997: An alternate jersey is introduced. It’s essentially a black version of the original look, with a white shoulder yoke and orange accents at the black wrist cuffs.

2001: The orange jersey goes away, as the Flyers use only the black and white jerseys.

2002: Orange makes a comeback, albeit on a weirdly tweaked sweater that eschewed the shoulder yoke in favor of white sleeves with an orange semicircle from armpit to black cuff. Essentially, it looks like someone ironed huge white triangles over an orange sleeve. Worse, the logo gets silver trim and an alleged 3-D effect.

2007: Reebok becomes the jersey supplier to the NHL. The Flyers get a baseball shirt-style jersey, with the torso either black or white, adorned with a larger version of the original logo, and contrasting sleeves. Orange is an accent.

2008: Reebok’s take on the original orange jersey arrives as an alternate.

2009: The orange alternate replaces the black home jersey.

2017: Adidas steps in, and other than straightening Reebok’s shirttail hemline, changes nothing.

Guest Author Bio: AJ Lee is a marketing specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet. He’s an avid Blackhawks fan and an expert in all things hockey equipment.

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