In 1889 Charles Moore, president of the university’s Athletic Association, chose the colors for the first field day (April 12) that was sponsored by the Athletic Association. He chose the colors of a flower that grew profusely about the campus—the American daisy—choosing the yellow orange of the center of the daisy and the white of its petals as the school colors of orange and white. In the same year, the baseball team chose red and black for its team colors. In 1891, at the Sewanee football game, students made an effort to wear orange and white. But in a parade for Governor Bob Taylor soon afterwards, the cadets wore blue and white.
In 1891 the student body voted to adopt orange and white as the school colors. Two years later an effort to change the colors was made. Students voted to drop orange and white as the school colors, but no other combination was found that was satisfactory; the students again voted for orange and white.