The District is well-known for housing a myriad of federal structures, but the city’s earliest and perhaps least-known monuments, known as Boundary Stones, are the inspiration behind the latest City Edition uniforms for the Washington Wizards.
The 2023-24 uniforms unveiled Wednesday pay homage to the 40 stone markers set in place by President George Washington to designate the border of the nation’s capital. Nearly all of the original boundary stones still exist today with the first being laid on April 15, 1791, in Alexandria, Virginia.
Rebecca Winn, senior vice president of Wizards’ marketing, told WTOP that the team wanted to highlight something that’s unique to the city.
“Only Washington, D.C. can own this particular story and so there’s a lot to tell,” she said. “We also wanted to highlight some of the work that Benjamin Banneker has done as well.”
Benjamin Banneker was an African American mathematician and astronomer who was one of the most famous Black men in colonial America, according to the National Park Service. He conducted a survey alongside Pierre Charles L’Enfant to identify the boundaries of the city so that the markers would be placed along its perimeter.
Winn told WTOP that the jerseys have a black base with a diamond shape between the jersey and the shorts that is outlined in red. The red is a nod to the red color in the D.C. flag, while the color in the diamond is anthracite, or gray, which is in Nike’s color palette and is also meant to hearken back to the color in maps and documents from the 18th century. The orange and teal colors are also references to the natural aging of the boundary stones.
The design of the uniforms also includes a modified version of the Wizards’ logo where a boundary stone is in place of the Washington Monument.
The latest City Edition uniforms will make their debut on Nov. 10 in the game against the Charlotte Hornets. A new thematic court will also be used concurrently with the City Edition jerseys; it’s set to debut on Dec. 15.