In 1788 the British Empire established Australia as a penal colony. Part of this meant the construction of prisons for repeat offenders, the most notable being Port Arthur in Tasmania. The worst of the worst were forced to wear this black and yellow uniform dubbed "Magpie" (because the original version was black and white). The juxtaposed colours were inspired by medieval jesters and were meant to humiliate the inmates. Their leather cap had flaps that were kept tied at the top of the cap and could be untied to create a hat brim for hot days so they could be sun smart while working in chain gangs.
Tags: history, britain, british-history, australian-history, australia