The Atlético Crest and its MeaningBy: Al | December 1st, 2008
Ever wonder “what the hell kind of crest is that” when you see the Atlético Madrid crest plastered everywhere? I know I did (not really). Well, ready for a visual history lesson? Of course you are! Grab a cold one, sit back, and read this quick tidbit.
The bear and the stars is basically taken the Madrid city coat of arms.
The symbol on the top-right shows a bear reaching for a strawberry tree. This symbol dates back to the 13th century, in which there was an abundance of bears and strawberry trees. Alfonso XI even described Madrid as “a good place for pork and bear”.
The seven stars respresent the Ursa Major, with the seven brightest stars forming the Big Dipper. Ursa Major is Latin for “Great Bear” so the bear reference is still there. The points on each star represent the five neighboring provinces to Madrid: Segovia, Ávila, Guadalajara, Cuenca and Toledo.
This is the coat of arms:
The red and white stripes were put onto the logo because of the color of the team’s jerseys. The original color of the Atletico Madrid jerseys was half-and-half between blue and white, ala Blackburn Rovers. This was also the color that Athletic Bilbao used on their jerseys, as Athletic Bilbao and Athletic de Madrid (Atlético’s original name) were technically the same club but separated into different branches.
According to legend, a member of Bilbao went to England to purchase Blackburn Rovers jerseys but could only find Southampton FC jerseys and purchased those instead. Athletic Bilbao have used these colors ever since, the red/white jerseys and black shorts. An Athletic de Madrid director traveled from Bilbao with extra jerseys and used the same red/white jerseys but used the Blackburn blue shorts instead. And voila, the Atleti jerseys were formed.
The red and white is also said to have been the colors of the string used in mattresses, with the material being used to make more jerseys. The color of the jerseys were compared to those of mattresses, giving Atlético the nickname los colchoneros, the mattress makers.
Smoosh them into a crest, and you get this:
And here are the other past Atlético crests:
As you can see, the wings and the crown were taken off the second crest and the logo has been the same ever since.
See, history doesn’t always suck!