Ask a Trooper: History of State Patrol’s maroon and gold

Published 8:45 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: What is the deal with the Minnesota State Patrol and the maroon colored squad cars? I’ve traveled all over the United States and don’t know if I’ve ever seen this color used before. Is there a reason for this?

Troy Christianson

Answer: There is a reason deep within the history of the Minnesota State Patrol. The Minnesota State Patrol was created in 1929. The original trooper uniform — long gray coat, riding boots, gray knee-high pants and eight-corner hat — was replaced by maroon and gold uniforms. The change was made in 1934 to honor the University of Minnesota national championship football team. The Golden Gophers went on to win National Football Championships in 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941 and 1960.

Email newsletter signup

In 1958 the State Patrol adopted maroon as the standard car color for their squad cars. Our cars have went through some graphic changes throughout that time, but the maroon and gold has remained steady as a part of our organization.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is with the Minnesota State Patrol.