In the olden days, British males over the age of six were only permitted to wear brown, grey, greeny-brown, browny-green or, in moments of extreme flamboyance, navy…
If a chap had worn a football jersey anywhere other than on a football field he might well have been assumed to be quite insane, and arrested for causing a breach of the peace. And the same applied to sporting any item of apparel other than a school blazer in a primary colour. Red socks and yellow waistcoats, for example, were only ever sported by show-offs, buffoons and variety acts.
So how to let it be known which side you were supporting in the big Cup game on Saturday? That’s where rosettes came in: they were the acceptable face of partisanship in more restrained times….
You don’t get them any more.