Flip Flop Flying

This season’s flags

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Back when I was a youngster in the United Kingdom, football kits were, by today’s standards, pretty simple. I grew up at a time that saw the last of the kits without company names across the front. And I grew up at a time when the goalkeeper wore the same shorts and socks as his teammates, he just had a green jersey to identify him. You’d occasionally see Dino Zoff in goal for Italy wearing a grey jersey, which was a revelation for my brain. Another, bigger, revelation was seeing Mexico wearing a green jersey at the 1978 World Cup. A whole team of goalkeepers!

During the entirely legitimate and in-no-way corrupt Concacaf Gold Cup a month or so ago, Mexico had no green jersey. They had a black jersey and a white jersey but no green jersey. Sad face. There was a point during the semi final against Panama, when I tweeted this:

I soon designed a Danish flag that had elements of the 1986 World Cup jersey. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to do more.

While this idea works best with international flags and jerseys, it’s kinda more pertinent, in my head, to club jerseys. We have to put up with Adidas or Nike or whoever choosing how something we care about looks. This is not a new issue, of course, and this is not a grumpy old man complaining that things were better when he was younger. Indeed, teams changed their kits pretty often in the olden days, I guess it just feels more corporate a thing now that we can actually buy them in shops, something our grandparents couldn’t do.

(That thing of things being better when you were young, though, is a moderately interesting topic, insomuch as it seems obvious that we all have a fondness for the kits in our early years of fandom. My favourite Liverpool kits? Late 70s, early 80s. What colour should Liverpool’s away kit be? Yellow, just like the early 80s one, the first LFC jersey I ever owned. My favourite England kit? The one they wore in the 1980 European Championships and the 1982 World Cup.)

If you look at the excellent Historical Football Kits, you will see team have been changing kits every few seasons for pretty much all time. It has, of course, ramped up in recent years, with most top teams having three new kits (home, away, and third) every damn season. The Seinfeld quote that everyone rolls out when talking about rooting for a team, that you are just rooting for laundry, well, the laundry in football now changes nearly as much as Top Shop’s inventory.

We football fans seem to care a lot about our chosen teams. People are, for better or worse, quite patriotic on the whole. Not sure that I particularly understand that way of looking at the world, but it is the case. So this wee project is just a way of kinda combining the two things to try and make it a bit clearer how the changing of kit designs is important to fans.

It should be noted that some countries can’t really be addressed because of their kit colours never being the same as their flag colours (Australia, Netherlands, or Italy, for example), and Brazil has never really messed about too much with the general concept that could be applied in an non-clunky way to their flags. On the other hand, this project could’ve easily been done solely looking at the (West) German kits over the years.

So, here’s fifteen of ’em: This Season’s Flags.

England, 1980 European Championships and 1982 World Cup

Denmark, 1986 World Cup

USSR, 1988 European Championships

West Germany, 1988 European Championships and 1990 World Cup

Ireland, 1990 World Cup

Sweden, 1992 European Championships

USA, 1994 World Cup

Switzerland, 1996 European Championships

France, 1998 World Cup

Scotland, 1998 World Cup

Nigeria, 2002 World Cup

Spain, 2006 World Cup

Argentina, 2014 World Cup

Portugal, 2014 World Cup

Mexico, 2014 World Cup

Written by Craig

August 24th, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Artwork,Sports

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