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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

AFL Guernseys: The Symbolic Language of Team Pride

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Aussie Rules Football (AFL) is not only a thrilling sport but also a cultural phenomenon deeply embedded in Australian society. One fascinating aspect of the game is the symbolism behind the team guernseys (jerseys) worn by the players. AFL guernseys are more than just uniforms; they are powerful symbols that represent team pride, history, and identity. In this blog article, we will explore the rich symbolic language woven into AFL guernseys, examining the various elements and designs that make them unique. Join us on this journey into the heart of AFL culture and discover the stories behind the iconic jerseys.

The Colors 

The colors of afl guernseys are crucial in representing a team’s identity and heritage. Each club typically has one or more primary colors that define its identity. For example, the Collingwood Magpies are known for their black and white stripes, while the Richmond Tigers sport a vibrant combination of yellow and black.

These colors often have historical significance or connections to the club’s location or nickname. For instance, the Essendon Bombers’ red and black colors represent the club’s association with the local munitions factory during World War II.

Logos and Emblems 

The logos and emblems on AFL guernseys provide a visual representation of the team’s identity. They often incorporate symbols and motifs that reflect the club’s history, values, or mascot. The Geelong Cats, for example, feature a stylized cat emblem on their guernseys, emphasizing their feline nickname.

Logos and emblems are subject to change over time, evolving alongside the club’s narrative. These changes may reflect rebranding efforts, commemorations, or modernizations while still maintaining a connection to the club’s heritage.

Historical References 

Many AFL guernseys pay tribute to a club’s rich history and achievements. They might feature historical references, such as premiership stars or year badges, denoting the club’s successes. These elements serve as a constant reminder of a club’s legacy and inspire players and supporters alike.

Furthermore, guernseys can commemorate significant moments in a club’s history. For example, the Western Bulldogs wore a special guernsey in the 2016 Grand Final to honor their first appearance in the AFL decider since 1961. These limited-edition jerseys often become cherished collector’s items for fans.

Indigenous Designs 

AFL guernseys have increasingly incorporated indigenous designs, celebrating and acknowledging the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These designs, often created in collaboration with indigenous artists, showcase intricate patterns and symbols that tell stories of land, traditions, and identity.

The inclusion of indigenous designs on guernseys is a meaningful step towards reconciliation and cultural respect within the AFL community. It promotes awareness of indigenous cultures and fosters a deeper connection between the sport and Australia’s First Nations people.


AFL guernseys are more than just garments worn by players; they represent the essence of team pride, history, and identity. The colors, logos, historical references, and indigenous designs come together to create a symbolic language that tells the story of each club. From the iconic stripes of Collingwood to the indigenous-inspired artwork of the Sydney Swans, these guernseys unite players and fans, creating a sense of belonging and community.

Next time you watch an AFL match, take a closer look at the guernseys on the field. Each jersey carries the weight of tradition, the hopes of the past, and the dreams of the future. They are an integral part of the AFL’s cultural fabric, reminding us that the sport is more than just a game—it’s a powerful expression of Australian identity.

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