Accent color black might be, although I was tempted to buy a sweatshirt I noticed in the bookstore on my last trip to Madison. Black, with red WISCONSIN, the letters outlined in white. Perhaps they'll add "Together Forward" to the state motto.
Nancy Berndt '65 asks Abe, "In recent years, I have observed the inclusion of the color black with the traditional red and white of the Badger colors. How did this happen, and why? It seems almost like tampering with Mother Nature!"
Answer: According to Arthur Hove, a historian of UW-Madison, the cardinal color (sometimes called "Wisconsin Red") and the white accent color were "generally accepted as the school colors" in the 1880s.
The addition of black, which started appearing sometime within the past 10 years, has been used in an effort to add contrast to the cardinal and white. But it seems that black is, and shall remain, an accent color.
You may also have noticed that UW-Madison recently changed its logo. On this topic, Chancellor John Wiley has said, "Consistent use of the new logos is an important first step in a campuswide effort to present a clear, unified UW-Madison identity."
HUSKIE ENVY? The University of Wisconsin Alumni Association has a feature called Ask Abe (a reference to the Abraham Lincoln statue in front of Bascom Hill). There are now compendia of questions organized by topic. One intrigues: