Q&A on the News

Q: When the season began, it seemed that all of a sudden multiple sources were calling Atlanta United the “5 Stripes.” Who selected it, and what does it represent? I have noticed several teams whose shirts have three dark and two light stripes, so that does not appear to be unique to Atlanta. Can you tell me the origin?

—Bill Delmar, Atlanta

A: Although the nickname "5 Stripes" is used by fans of Atlanta's MLS expansion franchise, it is not an official club nickname, Atlanta United spokesman Chris Winkler told Q&A on the News via email.

“It does seem like it’s caught a lot of favor from our supporters, but we do not use it or reference it,” he wrote.

The five stripes in the Atlanta United’s red, black and gold logo represent “the pillars of our character,” according to the team’s website.

Those pillars are: unity, community, determination, excellence and innovation. In particular, the black stripes are a nod to Atlanta’s past as a railroad town, according to the team’s website.

It’s also true that soccer has a long tradition of vertically striped jerseys, Winkler wrote.

“Some of the most iconic and historic soccer kits on both of the club and international level have featured thick vertical stripes, including FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan and Newcastle United,” he wrote.

Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).