Discussions over ‘rainbow’ England kit revealed after furore over ‘playful update’ on cross

Ciaran McCarthy
Phil Foden, England, March 2024
Phil Foden wearing England shirt with altered St George's cross

During the design process for the England kit, reports suggest the ‘addition of another colour’ which would have constituted a ‘rainbow’ effect were discussed, but shelved due to it straying from the purpose of the kit.

England donned their latest kit for the first time in their 1-0 loss to Brazil on Saturday. One particular design element has not gone down well with some Three Lions supporters.

The kit features a St George’s cross on the collar, which has been altered from its normal red and white to a red and purple cross in a ‘playful update’.

Many have opposed the decision, including Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, as it’s been suggested the cross should not be messed with, given it is a “source of pride.”

A report has surfaced suggesting there were plans for for the shirt to be given even more of a twist. Indeed, the Telegraph reports an ‘addition of another colour’ was discussed which would have constituted a ‘rainbow effect’.

However, it was disputed, as part of the design brief for the kit was ‘incorporating hues harking back to England’s 1966 World Cup triumph.

Nike have stressed the kit was supposed to “celebrate the heroes of 1966 and their achievements.”

They explained that was the reason for changing the colour of the cross: “the trim on the cuffs takes its cues from the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, with a gradient of blues and reds topped with purple.

“The same colours also feature an interpretation of the flag on the back of the collar.”

Amid the furore over the decision, though, the company have issued a statement regarding the decision.

“We have been a proud partner of the FA since 2012 and understand the significance and importance of the St George’s Cross and it was never our intention to offend, given what it means to England fans,” Nike said.

While there have been petitions started to get the cross on the kit changed back to its normal red and white, there is no suggestion from Nike that the kit will be altered.

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