Why is everything black and yellow in Pittsburgh?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

In Pittsburgh, the colors black and yellow hold great significance and can be seen all around the city. From sports teams to city flags and even the coat of arms, the black and yellow colors have become deeply ingrained in the identity of Pittsburgh. But why is everything black and yellow in Pittsburgh? Let’s dive into the rich history behind these colors and their connection to the city.

The origins of Pittsburgh’s black and yellow color scheme can be traced back to the city’s namesake, William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham. Pitt, a prominent British statesman in the 18th century, was known for his support of the American colonies during the French and Indian War. As a tribute to his efforts in securing victory for Britain, the city of Pittsburgh was named after him in 1758.

The colors black and gold, which are prominently featured in Pittsburgh, come from the coat of arms of William Pitt’s family. The coat of arms consists of a black shield adorned with three gold lions. Pittsburgh adopted these colors as an homage to its namesake, creating a visual connection between the city and its historical roots.

Fast forward to the early 20th century, when Pittsburgh’s professional hockey team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, took to the ice wearing black and gold uniforms. The team’s choice of colors was a deliberate nod to the city’s coat of arms and its connection to William Pitt. The black and gold uniforms became synonymous with the Pirates and would later be adopted by other Pittsburgh sports teams, creating a unified color scheme for the city’s sports culture.

Over time, the black and gold colors became deeply ingrained in Pittsburgh’s identity, not just in sports but in various aspects of city life. The Pittsburgh Steelers, the city’s beloved football team, also dons black and gold uniforms, further solidifying the association of these colors with Pittsburgh’s sports success.

Beyond sports, you can also find the black and gold color scheme in the city’s flag and seal. The official flag of Pittsburgh features a black background with a golden triangle in the center, representing the city’s geographical location at the confluence of three rivers. The golden triangle is a symbol of pride and unity for Pittsburghers, further reinforcing the significance of black and gold in the city’s visual representation.

The black and yellow color scheme has also extended beyond sports and official emblems. Pittsburghers proudly display these colors in their everyday lives, whether it’s through clothing, accessories, or even home decor. The black and gold colors have become a symbol of pride and unity for the people of Pittsburgh, representing their love for their city and its rich history.

The reason why everything seems to be black and yellow in Pittsburgh is deeply rooted in the city’s history and identity. The connection to William Pitt and his coat of arms, along with the adoption of these colors by the Pittsburgh Pirates and other sports teams, has solidified black and gold as the city’s signature colors. From sports uniforms to flags and everyday life, the black and yellow color scheme serves as a visual representation of Pittsburgh’s pride, unity, and historical heritage.