Along with our name change to The George Washington University in 1904, the mascot and colors were also altered to commemorate George Washington. The colors were chosen to match the uniform George Washington wore as he resigned his position as Commander In Chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. The original colors of the Columbian University were blue and orange.
We were referred to as the "Buff and Blue" for many years. "George 1" became the mascot after a student vote in 1948. "Big George" was introduced in the 90's. The name "Colonials" was voted in by the student body in 1928.
The Hippo was added as an unofficial mascot in Fall of 2001, and has been an active member of the mascot squad ever since! The Mascot Squad currently consists of George, Big George, and the Hippo.
(source: GW University Archives)