SF police: Out of the gray and into the blue

Police uniforms in SF turned blue in 1878 because cops were being insulted as Southern sympathizers


By Robert O'Brien
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — Frequently in research I have come across the phrase "wearing the Gray." It has always been applied to policemen, and has invariably carried with it the connotation of esteem or veneration.

In the newspaper stories of the 1890s, for instance, there occur numerous references like the following: "The strong-jawed, keen-eyed representative of the law knew whereof he was speaking: he had been a wearer of the gray."

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