Whether you’re a Detroit Lions fan or not, changes are you know that Honolulu Blue is the Detroit Lions’ prideful color. It’s not just regular blue, mind you. It’s bright, deep Honolulu Blue. The color looks great on the Lions’ iconic home uniforms and jerseys.

Detroit has actually worn Honolulu Blue for almost their entire 90-year time in the Motor City. So, it has a deep history. So, why do the Detroit Lions wear Honolulu Blue? Also, what is Honolulu Blue, the color?

Why do the Detroit Lions wear Honolulu Blue?

It all starts with former team owner G.A. Richards, who originally moved the Portsmouth Spartans to Detroit in 1934. He and a group of Detroit businessmen renamed the team the Lions. Then, according to a story told by Pro Football Hall of Fame senior advisor Joe Horrigan, Richards asked halfback Glenn Presnell and his wife to help pick out the new uniforms to match the team’s new home.

“Richards had Glenn and his wife over to his house for dinner — he was kind of a celebrity player at the time,” Horrigan told the Detroit Free Press in early November. “He asked (Presnell) and his wife which uniforms they liked and Glenn said his wife went right to the blue and silver and they just kind of went along with it.”

Richards created this special shade of blue, and he purposely designed it to perfectly match the Lions’ silver pants.

Lions vice president and general manager Cy Huston said blue was the only color they considered, since it matched the silver so well. “”Huston also set out to select uniforms with blue in them,” it states in Mike Murray’s 1993 book, “Lions Pride: 60 years of Detroit Lions Football.” The book adds, “‘They had me looking at so many blues I’m blue in the face,’ he said. ‘But anyway, it’s the kind of blue, I am told, that will match with silver.’ The Lions (so-named in keeping with the jungle cat image of the city’s baseball team, the Tigers) also got a refurbished team bus, painted silver and blue, and used it to travel to their games — and to practices at Chandler Park on the east side during the season.”

So, how did the new colors go over? Really well. In fact, the blue and silver look was so big that the Buffalo Bills, when they launched, pretty much copied the Lions when putting together their initial uniforms in 1960. Buffalo’s first uniforms were blue with a silver helmet.

According to a 1950 Lion media guide, “the blue, a distinctive shade was especially developed for G.A. Richards.” For more information about the history of the blue, check out “The Evolution of the Detroit Lions” Uniform” by Bill Dow.

What is the color, Honolulu Blue?

Honolulu Blue is, of course, officially the blue used by the Lions. It was inspired by the color of the waves off the Hawaii coast. Looks-wise, Honolulu Blue is a medium-dark shade of cyan blue. It falls between royal and light blues and navy and steel blues. It’s a beauty. Hopefully it will be seen at the Super Bowl next year.