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Carolina blue (occasionally referred to as Tar Heel blue) is the shade of blue used as one of the official school colors of the University of North Carolinamarker. The color is sometimes referred to as light blue, sky blue, powder blue, or baby blue. The name is derived from the popular usage of "Carolina" to refer to the university. For clarity in branding and marketing, the University Licensing Office has defined the color as Pantone 278.

Use of the light blue color at UNC dates from 1795 when the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies of the university chose representative colors. Society members would wear a blue or white ribbon at university functions, and blue or white ribbons were attached to the diplomas of graduates. When football became a popular collegiate sport in the 1880s, the UNC football team adopted the light blue and white of the Di-Phi Societies as the school colors.

On many North Carolina television stations, the term is popular among weather forecasters to describe clear skies (i.e. "We'll be seeing some Carolina blue skies today"). It is also common among Tar Heel fans to suggest that God is a Tar Heel because clear skies are usually the same shade of blue as Carolina blue.


  1. " Trademarks and Licensing." University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved on March 10, 2008.
  2. " Culture Corner: Di-Phi: The Oldest Organization", Carolina Review, vol. XIII, no. 6 (March 2006), p. 13. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  3. "Joining the Societies, Information Petitioners Should Know, Origin of Colors", Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.

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