New Orleans Saints Logo: what is it? + Controversial history of it
The National football league is full of iconic franchises team logos. More than the NBA, MLB, and NHL, NFL teams have the most recognizable symbols. The Green Bay Packers have their G. Falcons and crows have their dirty birds. Jacksonville has its Jaguars, New York has its Big Blue, and the Vikings and Texans have their horns.
The New Orleans Saints the team has… well, whatever it is.
Old Gold Saints fans rocked the NFC and shouted “Who Dat?” since the creation of the saints. Few sports teams and sports logos have more visibility than the Saints football team logo, but many people do not know what the symbol means.
What is the logo of the champions of Super Bowl XLIV, the New Orleans Saints, and how did they get it?
What is the New Orleans Saints logo?
The New Orleans Saints logo is a fleur-de-lis. “Fleur” and “lis” mean respectively “flower” and “lily” in French.
It’s a classic representation of a fleur-de-lis that has a long history prior to American football. It is a symbol of beauty, hope and royalty. Over the past two centuries, the fleur-de-lis has also become a symbol of the people of New Orleans.
The colors of the Saint are black, gold and white. The New Orleans fleur-de-lis is always represented by a combination of these colors, although the exact logo design has changed throughout the history of the franchise (more on this in a moment).
Even in the controversial new era of the “color rush” of alternative NFL uniforms, the Saints’ primary colors remain the same, as does their primary logo.
The fleur-de-lis throughout history
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The lily flower story goes way beyond New Orleans and even American history. The flower symbolized the French crown and the House of Bourbon long before its arrival in the United States, which explains its connection to the French history of New Orleans.
Legend has it that the first fleur-de-lis came out of a tear shed by Eve as she left the Garden of Eden. Since then, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph have been depicted holding a fleur-de-lis, which is technically a type of lily.
The lily has become a scouts symbol and New Orleans here in the United States. From the uniforms of the New Orleans pelicans to the flag of the Louisiana Creole People, it is a symbol that has come to represent the people of Louisiana. That’s why when New Orleans created their first professional football team in the late 1960s, everyone south of Baton Rouge knew what the logo would be.
The symbol’s controversial past involving slavery
The fleur-de-lis symbol was actually used by slave owners to mark slaves who escaped, according to United States today, who spoke with slavery historian Dr. Ibrahima Seck.
“He would be taken to court and the sentence would be marked on one shoulder and with the fleur-de-lis and then they would cut off their ears,” Seck said.
“As an African I find this painful, and I think the people whose ancestors were enslaved here may feel it even more than I as an African.”
Obviously, the symbol does not mean the same today. But it is important to recognize how it has been used in the past. Some have argued that the Saints should change their logo because of this.
History of the New Orleans logo
The NFL franchise has rocked the fleur-de-lis since their Opening of the 1967 season.
The team was named after the jazz standard “When the Saints Go Marching In”, and jazz was born in New Orleans (sorry, Utah). The fleur-de-lis was later chosen by the Saints’ first majority shareholder, John W. Mecom Jr., as the flower was generally associated with Catholic Saints. The logo has remained through all of the different owners of the team, including the Benson family.
Although the symbol has remained the same, the details surrounding it have changed.
Of 1967-1999, the New Orleans flower was all black with a thin white outline. Archie Manning wore this logo. From 1967 to 1984, the flower sometimes changed what it was inside. Sometimes it was inside a shield. To others, it was inside a shield held by a cartoon soccer player named Sir Saint.
And yet, to others, the fleur-de-lis was sitting alone, as we are used to seeing it.
The basic flower design has undergone four changes since 2000. Most of these design changes are slight updates to the colors and borders. The current New Orleans Saints logo is a gold flower (instead of black), triple contoured in black, white and black. Whenever the Saints walk under another logo, that logo is the flower inside a state outline or on a shield held by Sir Saint.
Maybe with Drew Brees finally withdrawing from black and gold, it can become the new model of Sir Saint. I can’t think of a better game.