The club crest is derived from the Manchester City Council coat of arms, although all that remains of it on the current crest is the ship in full sail. The devil stems from the club’s nickname “The Red Devils”; it was included on club programmes and scarves in the 1960s, and incorporated into the club crest in 1970, although the crest was not included on the chest of the shirt until 1971 (unless the team was playing in a Cup Final).
A photograph of the Newton Heath team, taken in 1892, is believed to show the players wearing red-and-white quartered jerseys and blue shorts. Between 1894–96, the players wore distinctive green and gold jerseys which were replaced in 1896 by white shirts, which were worn with blue shorts. After the name change in 1902, the club colours were changed to red shirts, white shorts, and black socks, which has become the standard Manchester United home kit. Very few changes were made to the kit until 1922 when the club adopted white shirts bearing a deep red “V” around the neck, similar to the shirt worn in the 1909 FA Cup Final. They remained part of their home kits until 1927. For a period in 1934, the cherry and white hooped change shirt became the home colours, but the following season the red shirt was recalled after the club’s lowest ever league placing of 20th in the Second Division and the hooped shirt dropped back to being the change. The black socks were changed to white from 1959 to 1965, where they were replaced with red socks up until 1971, when the club reverted to black. Black shorts and/or white socks are sometimes worn with the home strip, most often in away games, if there is a clash with the opponent’s kit. The current home kit is a red shirt with a white buttoned crew collar and cuffs with black and red trim.
The Manchester United away strip has often been a white shirt, black shorts and white socks, but there have been several exceptions. These include an all-black strip with blue and gold trimmings between 1993 and 1995, the navy blue shirt with silver horizontal pinstripes worn during the 1999–2000 season, and the 2011–12 away kit, which had a royal blue body and sleeves with hoops made of small midnight navy blue and black stripes, with black shorts and blue socks. An all-grey away kit worn during the 1995–96 season was dropped after just five games because players claimed to have trouble finding their team-mates against the crowd. In 2001, to celebrate 100 years as “Manchester United”, a reversible white/gold away kit was released, although the actual match day shirts were not reversible.
The club’s third kit is often all-blue, this was most recently the case during the 2014–15 season. Exceptions include a green-and-gold halved shirt worn between 1992 and 1994, a blue-and-white striped shirt worn during the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons and once in 1996–97, an all-black kit worn during the Treble-winning 1998–99 season, and white shirts with black-and-red horizontal pinstripes worn between 2003 and 2005. Since 2006–07, the third kit has usually been the previous season’s away kit, the exceptions being the 2008–09 and 2014–15 seasons.