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Washington Football Helmet And Uniform History

With the recent name change to the Washington Commanders – and before that to the interim Washington Football Team – the franchise’s helmets and jerseys have undergone some significant changes of late. Obviously after the perceived uprising against the name and logo, all references to any Native American imagery have now disappeared.

As you look through these images and descriptions, you will likely be struck more by how things didn’t change through the years, than by how much they did.


In July of 1932, a group led by George Preston Marshall was awarded the inactive Boston franchise for the upcoming 1932 NFL season. The new Boston team was to be named the Braves (after baseball’s Boston Braves), and would play home games at Braves Field.

In 1933, after a poorly attended 1932 season, Marshall wanted to draw bigger crowds and moved his team to the infamous Fenway Park.

This is the history of the Washington Redskins / Commanders helmet and uniform changes going all the way back to then.

1933 Boston Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The 1933 Redskins jersey features an Indian head profile on the front of the jersey. It is one of the few instances in league history where a logo is on the front of an NFL jersey instead of a uniform number:

The 1933 Redskins helmet was burgundy.

1933 Uniform and Helmet

1937 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The Boston Redskins move to Washington in 1937 and win their first NFL Championship Game. It is the start of the ‘Slingin’ Sammy Baugh era.

This jersey had new Indian head patches on the sleeves, instead of on the front. Each sleeve is a profile of the Indian’s RIGHT side – so on the right arm the head faces forward, and on the left arm it faces backward. It was likely just so they could use the same patch on both sleeves.

This jersey has the more common uniform numbers on the front design, and they are gold with white outlines. This uniform also features gold pants and switches to a gold helmet.

Note: Washington honored this uniform in 1994 by making it their “throwback” style jersey.

1937 Uniform and Helmet

1942 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

This jersey switches to just a white number on the front and in a slightly different font than the previous jersey.

This uniform was the standard for the next decade, and didn’t see many alterations.

1942 Uniform and Helmet

1948 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The font on the front of the jersey is changed to something unusual, and that no other NFL team ever used. It is coupled with the same gold pants and gold helmet.

1948 Uniform and Helmet


1956 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The new red uniform now features vertical gold-white-gold stripes on the jersey shoulders.

Most helmets now have face guards and are plastic, but there still isn’t a logo on the helmet like other teams had gone to by this point in time. 

1956 Uniform and Helmet


1962 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The road uniform shown here, features some subtle changes. There is just the one burgundy stripe on the shoulder, and there are now small numbers in the middle of the sleeves. Additionally, there is a burgundy stripe running down the side of the pants.

This is also the birth of the first markings on the helmet. There is a multi-colored feather running down the middle of the helmet – a fresh, unique design.

1962 Uniform and Helmet


1966 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

An interesting change here, is that the team went back to a shoulder with no stripe. this was common throughout the league at the time. Also of note is that the sleeves are considerably shorter.

The most noteworthy thing in the entire entourage is the helmet. This is when the Indian spear first appears on the helmet. A look that many fans loved and still love.

1966 Uniform and Helmet


1969 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

There were several changes to the uniform in this rendition. A distinct horizontal white, yellow and maroon stripe pattern were added to the sleeves.

The NFL celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1969, hence the patch on the left shoulder commemorating this milestone. All NFL teams wore this patch, but not the AFL teams (the merger had already taken place).

A white stripe was added to the already existing burgundy striping on the pants.

The helmet logo stayed the same.

1969 Uniform and Helmet


1970 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

There was a new helmet in 1970. This time a giant ‘R’ adorned with feathers graces the side of the helmet. It’s not a coincidence that there is some resemblance to the Green Bay Packers ‘G’ logo – this design was conceived by the late, great Vince Lombardi. Unfortunately he passed away in 1970, before he could see the team in the uniforms and after only coaching Washington for one season. He left an indelible mark despite his short tenure with the franchise.

Also of note was that there were now numbers on the back of the new helmet design.

The new road white jersey had some other changes too – the horizontal markings on the sleeves were slightly different and there was new striping around the collar.

1970 Uniform and Helmet


1973 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The Redskins’ Indian head & feathers logo helmet design that many fans love / loved is finally born in the 1973 design. There were minor changes and revisions to the original design, but it was the standard for almost five decades – until the Redskins changed their name to the Washington Football Team in 2020.

The rest of the uniform remained almost the same, with the exception that the sleeve striping moved to the end of the sleeve.

1973 Uniform and Helmet


1982 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

The logo on the helmet changed slightly to a design where the feathers wrapped around the circular logo. This was used for just one season. The number was also removed from the back of the helmet. The grey face mask was also replaced with a gold one.

The pants changed from gold to burgundy which marked the first pant color change in history. The sleeves on the jersey also changed to thick red, yellow-gold and white stripes. Around the collar was switched to just a burgundy stripe – no gold. A gold outline was put around the uniform numbers – something they hadn’t had since the 1937 uniforms.

Don’t Miss: Read About The Redskins First Super Bowl Victory That Season

1982 Uniform and Helmet


1987 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

There were a couple of very subtle changes to this version. The burgundy was slightly “redder”. The thick stripe on the sleeves was moved to the end of the sleeves. The Indian head in the helmet logo is slightly darker, and the feather on the back of his head is in a slightly different position. There was no stripe on the collar.

White pants were also introduced to this uniform setup.

1987 Uniform and Helmet


1991 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

This uniform sees the birth of the NFL logo on the collar that has been present ever since – and you see it on all NFL teams’ jerseys – not just Washington’s. The league logo is also on the pants (see 2000 uniform image).

It’s hard to catch on first glimpse, but the helmet logo is slightly different too. The feather design has undergone a slight change since the previously pictured 1982 version, with darkened outlines.

1991 Uniform and Helmet


2000 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

In the 2000 uniform, the helmet logo has changed to a slightly larger size on the side of the helmet. There were also some minor changes to the brave head.

The shirt has elasticized cuffs to hug the arms closer , as well as using a thinner  burgundy and gold striping.

2000 Uniform and Helmet


2005 Washington Redskins Helmet And Uniform

There were only minor changes to this version. The stripe disappeared from the collar, and the stripes on the sleeves moved slightly.

The word “Redskins” was added under the NFL logo on the collar.

The logo on the helmet went back to a slightly smaller size again, and the word Redskins was added to the back of the helmet as well.

2005 Uniform and Helmet


2020 Washington Football Team Helmets And Uniform

In 2020 Dan Snyder did what he said he would never do and he changed the team name. They chose an interim name of “Washington Football Team” while they decided what the new permanent name would be moving forward.

Since the purpose of the name change was to eliminate the term Redskins as some people found it offensive, all elements of Native American imagery were removed from the uniform. The only thing that remained the same was the burgundy and gold color scheme.

The Redskins text on the front of the jersey was replaced with “Washington”. There was a single gold stripe on the sleeve and no stripe around the collar.

The team did launch a logo but it didn’t make it on to the uniform anywhere for some reason. Instead, they put the players’ numbers on the helmet.

The burgundy was a slightly different shade but close enough that only the most discerning of eyes could tell.

WFT 2020 Uniforms


2022 Washington Commanders Helmets And Uniform

In February of 2022, the organization made the announcement that the new name would be, the Commanders. It was met with little fanfare.

The team released three different uniform styles at the name launch.

Burgundy Uniform

A new 3D type logo was used on the helmet and for the first time, the helmet had a matte finish instead of a glossy finish.

The word Commanders was on the front of the jersey in a new font. They also went with a new font for the numbers as well. The sleeves had a thick yellow stripe with a thin white stripe at the end of the sleeves. They also used a new shade of burgundy. The jersey was accompanied by burgundy pants with no stripes.

White Uniform

The same helmet went with the white uniform but that’s where the similarities stopped.

The white uniforms had a gradient effect on the numbers on the jerseys, as well as on the stripes on the sleeves. The sleeves did have a burgundy stripe aswell but they also had a black stripe incorporated.  Instead of the word Commanders on the front of the jersey, it said “Washington” instead. The jersey was accompanied by white pants with no stripes.

Black Uniform

The black kit was completely different from the other two and was designed to be an homage to the military.

The helmet was a glossy black, and had the numbers on the side instead of the logo. The logo was in the middle at the front of the helmet. The numbers were in gold with a burgundy outline.

The jerseys had the same motif for the numbers with them being gold with a burgundy outline. They also introduced two new patches for the jerseys that were intended to honor the military. The jersey was accompanied by black pants with no stripes.

Washington Commanders 2022 Uniforms

The two patches:

Black Jersey Lock Screen

Just click on the image to view the full sized version and download it for a mobile wallpaper.


Throwback Uniforms

The Redskins have also had several Throwback jerseys that they wore for a single season to commemorate various occasions. These uniforms were all vast departures from the regular uniforms but were used in conjunction with the team’s main uniform designs – not as replacements.

1994 Throwback

The 1994 season marked the NFL’s 75th anniversary, so to celebrate, teams wore throwback sweaters commissioned by the NFL. There was a diamond patch on the left shoulder signifying the milestone.

Washington’s throwback was meant to commemorate their Championship winning 1937 season and the uniforms they wore then – well, loosely anyway. In the modern version, the patches on the sleeves both faced forward unlike the original design. They also used a burgundy-that-looks-more-like-plum helmet instead of the gold helmets that were worn in 1937. Then again, those helmets were leather. The ’94 helmet had no logo, like it’s predecessor.

Henry Ellard in 1994 Throwback Uniform


2002 Throwback

The 2002 throwback was to commemorate Washington’s 70th anniversary. It didn’t really resemble any uniform from the past, although the spear helmet was obviously akin to the helmets from 1966 through 1970.

The burgundy was a considerably darker color than anything from the past except for perhaps the 94 Throwwback. The gold in the uniform was considerably less yellow than anything used before, and they added the spear to the jerseys as well. They also added the 70th Anniversary patch to the left shoulder as well.

It was actually a very nice jersey and sold well – which was probably the goal in the first place.

Darrell Green in 2002


2012 Throwback

This throwback was again designed to try and resemble the Championship winning jersey of 1937. It’s hard to say why the organization went back to the well.

There were some slight differences though. The gold pants were a lighter color – almost not gold actually – they may have been closer to tan. The jersey color was still a deep burgundy and the brave heads were still present on the shoulders. It also had a very subtle burgundy collar accent.

The biggest difference from the ’94 throwback was the helmet. They used a “faux-leather” look to try and harken back to the days of yore. Some loved it – most people weren’t all that enamored with it.

There were no anniversary patches, but plenty of Nike swooshes on the uniform.

RGIII in the 2012 Throwback


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