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Ask a Trooper: Why State Patrol squads are maroon

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Trooper

Question: Would you tell me the significance of the color maroon for the Minnesota State Patrol please? I travel around all over and never saw another agency with this as their primary color for uniform or squad car.

Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol was created in 1929. The original trooper uniform was a long gray coat, riding boots, gray knee-high pants and eight-corner hat. It was replaced by maroon and gold uniforms. The change was made in 1934 to honor the University of Minnesota football national championship team. (The Golden Gophers were national football champions 1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941 and 1960.)

In 1958, the State Patrol adopted maroon as the standard car color. Prior to that, most of the squad cars had been black and a few other colors.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow me on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach me at