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Flag-Based Uni Era Ends, as Maryland Revives Script ‘Terps’ Design

On Labor Day 2011, the University of Maryland football team surprised the uni-verse, and the wider sports world, by opening their season in a bold new uniform/costume based on the Maryland state flag. The uni set, created by Under Armour, was an instant sensation and immediately drew comparisons to Nike’s uniforms for Oregon. Just as Nike founder Phil Knight had come up with increasingly outrageous designs for his alma mater, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, who had attended Maryland, was doing the same for his school.

Although the Terps won that Labor Day game (an upset victory over Miami), they went 2-10 for the season, and the new uniforms never turbo-charged their football program’s on-field success in the way that the Nike uniforms seemed to do for Oregon. Now, a dozen years later, the school is apparently ready to turn the page.

The Terps today announced that they’re going back to a fairly traditional primary uni design, including their old script-“Terps” helmet. That design was the team’s primary look from 2001 through 2010, and has been worn at least once per season as a throwback since 2019, when head coach Michael Locksley took over the team.

The move aptly symbolizes Under Armour’s greatly diminished status in the uni-verse, as the company has recently been beset with business woeslegal difficulties, and other challenges that have made it an increasingly marginalized brand. Now, adding insult to injury, the firm’s signature uniform design is being cast aside.

You can see additional photos here.

Comments (37)

    Finally. Script Terps is the best helmet Maryland has ever and will ever wear. Look I love the Maryland flag more than most people but it never looked right the way it was presented on the helmet.

    I like the older uniform but feel the white helmet would look better then the red one

    Ugh, don’t care for the script Terps at all, flag one was fine but not perfect. Maybe use the M logo. Also the loss of yellow on the number outline is a downgrade

    I liked the flag unis. It was a unique look that I came to identify with Maryland football. The script is a good clean look, but isn’t anything special.


    The flag look — daring as it may have been — never really worked on a uni, particularly the hats.

    This is how UMd should look.

    Finally! I had friends that wore that uniform in 1983 and 84, they got to keep the jerseys made by Champion, thought it was their best look. The flag all over the place look got very dated very fast.

    Script text is an upgrade, don’t like the lack of yellow or the three different stripe patterns (helmet, sleeves, pants)

    Sorry that Under Armour is an “increasingly marginalized brand”. Adidas isn’t doing much better, and Nike is becoming the only viable choice for schools. I’d love to see Nike have some competition.

    The only company with the necessary growth and scale that I can think of is Fanatics, and they are taking a totally different path (for now).

    Fanatics can’t offer any of the other equipment and gear that is needed as part of these large scale college apparel contracts. New Balance would be much better suited though I still think it’s Nike 1a-g these days then Adidas and UA with a handful of legacy clients.

    Less is more continues to win for teams. However, there are a few misses on this uniform. I like the sleeve stripe incorporating yellow, black and white. What I don’t like is that it isn’t consistent. That 3 colored stripe should be going down the middle of the helmet and the pants. They then also should have added yellow to the number outline. Yellow is a school color but only plays a minor role with the one stripe and it looks out of place rather than being a part of the uniform.

    I agree with everything your said. Uniform could’ve been a lot better if the stripes matched.

    I used to spend my summers at the Delaware shore, as one of the few non-Marylanders there, I learned that no state loves their state flag more than Maryland. IDK, maybe Texans but I’ve never been to Texas. So I’m surprised Maryland did this. Really seems like they never miss an opportunity to fly their flag. To be fair, it’s a cool flag.

    If a state has an ugly flag who cares, but when an athletic uniform is made out of an ugly flag thats sad.

    It was frustrating how Maryland couldn’t get out of their own way with this idea. It seemed that for every good-looking flag-based uniform, there were 2 terrible ones. That helmet with the boardwalk airbrush paint job, the flag design over black, and the apron-string piping all come to mind.

    This is pretty succinct and I agree. Maryland has a great state flag but that never translated well to the helmets. It was a neat one-off but it lost a little magic when it was there every week.
    Part of Maryland’s problem is that they have 4 school colors. Red and white seem to dominate yellow and black to a degree but to represent all the elements of the flag and school colors is tricky.
    I love the script “Terps” but would like the white lids to red. It is also a chance to introduce more black and yellow instead of just going back a few years. I liked the cartoon turtle/M (Kevin Foley Era… sorry, late ’90s, I played against him in high school) logo but those uniforms were more black-dominant.

    As a Maryland alum, I’m very happy to see the classic uniform return. I’m even happier that I no longer have to read inaccurate judgements of the team’s play. (With all due respect, of course.) Sure, the team is not a playoff contender yet, but they are consistently making and winning bowl games (and putting dozens of players in the NFL) while playing in the very difficult B1G East against Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Let’s all keep that in mind with any team whose uniform is not of our liking.

    If this is going to apply to the whole university (not just football), this would be the worst uniform news ever. The flag is beautiful and unique. It is Maryland’s brand.

    “That design was the team’s primary look from 2001 through 2010”
    It was also originally their primary from 1982-91 with the red helmets that they are bringing back.

    I seem to remember Paul was so outraged by the state flag uniforms first worn on Labor Day 2011, that he refused to cover it and barely even mentioned here it the following day.

    A nice return to the classics but it looks like a rushed job. Not a big UA fan in general (although I like their sweaters and vests) but that flag design was quite unique. Worked even better for the basketball team. Will basketball also return to a more classic design a la the Len Bias era? I loved those uniforms.

    It wasn’t too long ago that the Athletic Department consolidated all uniforms and designs under one umbrella. They even developed a specific font. I wonder if we go back to the old ways where every team gets to design their own unis. If so, I would hope the MBB team return to the 2002 Natty uni.

    Yes, those were great! I really liked the M with the waving pennant logo.
    I was going to post that I hope the flag usage is not completely eliminated. I think it worked well in many cases (like the hoop set you mentioned & recent lax unis where it is in the small portions on the sleeve cuffs or short striping).
    The airbrushed boardwalk art helmets were too much. Maryland should try for a subtle flag theme. Use of the flag colors and some of the elements w/o needing to be over the top like the more recent football set were.

    “the new uniforms never turbo-charged their football program’s on-field success in the way that the Nike uniforms seemed to do for Oregon”

    Maybe this will finally be the lesson that uniforms aren’t what got Oregon where it is. They actually invested in facilities, recruiting, assistant coaches – the things that help win football games. Meanwhile, Maryland slashed its athletic budget and hoped an ugly uniform would somehow make up for it.

    White Helmet.
    Script “Terps”
    Use the Maryland Flag Design inside the text of Terps.
    Red facemask.

    “greatly diminished status in the uni-verse”, I’m going to quote you on that in the future. I’ll make sure of it.

    I wonder what this will do for the entire athletics department. Several teams, including the soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse teams, have pulled in small elements of either the Crossland or Lord Baltimore flags (sleeve trim, side panels, etc.). Is everyone going to get “Terps” script wordmark now?

    I know most Terps fans are happy about this, but as a non-Terp college football die hard, Maryland now looks very generic. It doesn’t help that literally half their league wears red – and more than a third now wear red and white! The helmet may have been goofy, but it was distinctive and frankly had an identity that made more sense than a lot of the kitschy one-off helmets that graced the field from other schools over the past decade (Indiana in a candy cane helmet 12 times in 4 years, MSU wearing copper, Kentucky in shiny silver, Tennessee wearing “smoky” uniforms).

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