- The History of LSU's Purple and Gold is tied to Mardi Gras
There is some discrepancy in the origin of Royal Purple and Old Gold as LSU's official colors. Below is the most widely accepted scenario:
It is believed that the colors were worn for the first time by an LSU team in the spring of 1893 when the LSU baseball squad beat Tulane in the first intercollegiate contest played in any sport by Louisiana State University. Team captain E.B. Young reportedly handpicked those colors for the LSU squad.
Later that year, the first football game was played. On Nov. 25, 1893, football coach/chemistry professor Charles Coates and some of his players went into town to purchase ribbon to adorn their gray jerseys as they prepared to play the first LSU gridiron game.
Stores were stocking ribbons in the colors of Mardi Gras -- purple, gold and green. -- for the coming Carnival season. However, none of the green had yet arrived at Reymond's Store at the corner of Third and Main streets. Coates and quarterback Ruffin Pleasant bought up all of the purple and gold stock and made it into rosettes and badges.