What if the Team GB Olympic Football Shirt Actually Looked Like the Union Jack?

There hasn’t been much that has been “united” about the United Kingdom’s Olympic football team effort. The football associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been vociferously against the idea of a squad uniting the four home nations ever since London was first awarded the Olympics in 2005.

Unfortunately, such disunity is emblematic of the country as a whole these days. Scotland is racing towards a referendum on independence in 2014, with the Shetlands and Orkneys starting to speak up on the issue as well. In the meantime, Westminster continues to cede powers to the nascent parliaments and assemblies of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Sports are a common way to unite a nation made of disparate parts. But the home nations compete independently in the three most popular sports of football, rugby union (Northern Ireland plays with Ireland) and cricket (Wales plays with England). So the Olympic games are the main way for Great Britain to unite and root for the Union Jack.

Unfortunately, the football squad’s Stella McCartney-designed duds inspire little but boredom. The Union Jack’s proud colours are washed out in favour of several shades of icy blue; including a teal that was played out soon after San Jose Sharks merch mania hit in the early 1990s. There’s nothing bright or cheerful about Team GB’s shirt. Moreover, swapping out the Union Jack colours is a trick already being turned by Bulldog gin.

Here’s my admittedly unpolished attempt at rendering the shirt in the country’s traditional colours (see above). Share your concepts and thoughts on what the Great Britain Olympic football shirt should look like.

9 thoughts on “What if the Team GB Olympic Football Shirt Actually Looked Like the Union Jack?”

  1. Couple of thoughts…

    The breaking up of the U.K is such a polarizing issue and sparks incredibly passionate rhetoric from all sides, and, not all of it makes economic sense, with pride trumping common sense in most cases. However, for the Olympics football, a British team would be a far better team than any one of the home nations could put out. IMO the uk’s governing bodies dont want to see it as it would more than likely be a success and highlight how out of touch the orgs are.

    They should just put all the other crap aside and do the most fiscally resposible thing A British Football League.

    A great example is the Welsh clubs playing in English leagues, they seem to be doing very well as a result with swansea and cardiff a great testament to that. The Scottish league however is awful. The old firm Derby isn’t what it used to be and Scottish clubs are just awful especially in Europe. I would wager that Swansea City would dismantle either of the old firms (to even consider a welsh team could even compete with a scottish club 20 years ago would have been foder).

    Infact, if the SPL doesn’t put the good of it’s clubs above pride and allow a merger then more clubs will go the way of Rangers and ultimately the dodo–everyone would win.

    1. I’m surprised the SPL survived when they were having all those sponsorship problems a few years ago whe Setanta-Sport went under.Celtic and Rangers would probably doing a lot better than Cardiff and Swansea if they had been in the English leagues.

  2. Let Stella do it… The point of the Olympics is to put politics aside for a few weeks and celebrate sport. Lets let it be. and let the professionals deal with the kits. Not like you’d tell Lampard how to take a free kick.

  3. hey writting from france: I looove the kit you actually designed. I was reading an article about it and started looking for it. The first image I got was yours and I was really surprised. I love the colors, I love the style and it looks like the player are wearing this with pride and honnor. But after wards, I realized the true kit was blue. A bit like ManCity kit… Blue ?? I know it’s people fav’ color, but come on… where is the pride of wearing that shirt ? The color of the national team’s kit MUST remind us of its flag (france, spain, argentina, brazil…), history (holland, venezuela, australia…), culture (new-zeland, south-africa..).

    The only excuse I could accept is this one: maybe the FIFA doesn’t allow to use 3 colors if they are covering most of the shirt. I mean most of the world teams use red, blue and white as main color, don’t they ? Maybe the UnionJack kit is a bit confusing ? For example France primary color is blue = too close. Seconary color is white = too close again… Italy has the same issue, Japan, USA too… It’s probably the reason why they CAN’T put more than 2 primary colors.

    What do you think?

  4. I like what you have done with the kit and I have reworked it to similar effect (if you drop me an email I can send you a pic). I noted the comment about letting Stella McCartney do her thing. But she and all those who rave about these kits have missed the point – They are sports kits not fashion clothing.

    The Olympics are causing enough controversy due to the (mis)allocation of tickets, the lack of regard for Londoners getting to work or going about their lives during the games, this could have galvanised people behind the team, but instead has divided the nation once more (or at least the large minority that bother to have an opinion). There was more controversy over the design of the logo and typography for the whole London 2012 brand and those horrendous mascots. I have been told numerous times that it was designed by professionals and they had reasons for what they did. Well, I am a designer and I think it is bad.

    Personally I think for the team kit something featuring the Lion logo would have been fitting. What McCartney has done is not original – and the near total removal of red from the strip is no new thing either.

    Have a look at the Australian kits – they have been traditional and come out looking much better than our guys.

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