Team Name: Blue Devils
Nickname Established: Used unofficially in 1922,
used in The Trinity* Chronicle student newspaper,
but name didn't catch on right away.
*Duke began as Trinity College
Costumed Mascot: The Blue Devil
Mascot: Blue Devil
Costumed Mascot Debut: October 5, 1929
For a little photo history of the costume,
Live Mascot: Nothing official, but like Wake Forest, it's subject to your theology.
Live Mascot Debut: n/a
Team Colors: Duke Blue and White
Duke Blue is Prussian Blue.
University Location: Durham, North Carolina
Why does Duke have a Blue Devil for a mascot? Basically the football team needed a name. The newspaper held a name contest, but nothing was decided. A few student newspaper staff members liked Blue Devil so they decided to start using it in the paper. Obviously, it stuck. The details are here
What is a Blue Devil? In the post WWI era, when the nickname Blue Devil was adopted, if people spoke of the Blue Devils they weren't talking about Duke athletic teams. They were referring to a uniquely trained group of French soldiers who wore blue capes and berets. Some of the French Blue Devils toured America during the war to raise money in support of the war effort. "...strong and active, most attractive...those Devils, the Blue Devils of France," are the lyrics Irving Berlin used to describe them.
Random Association and Observations
* Duke and Wake Forest were both founded by Christian religious groups, the Baptists and Methodists respectively, yet they both have mascots that refer to evil in the Bible. Duke focused on the spirit part while Wake focused on the person part.
* Wake Forest's nickname came about after a football win over Duke (previously Trinity College) when the student newspaper editor said Wake Forest played with a "devilish fighting spirit."
"The Story of the Blue Devil." Official Duke University Athletics Site.
"A Blue Devil Gallery." Official Duke University Libraries Site
Official Duke Men's Basketball Site
Official Duke Junior Blue Devil Club (Kids' Club)
Pictorial History of the Blue Devil Costumed Mascot
Top of Page
About 64mascots - The Why and Who Behind the Site
2009 List of March Madness Mascots & Teams