Nobody in the NBA traveled around the states and cities so much like this team, one of the oldest in the league. Hawks were founded in 1946 in the NBL league and were called Buffalo Bisons. During the first season, before the New Year, the team flew out of Buffalo, landed in Illinois, and was named the Black Hawks.
More precisely, the club was called Tri-Cities Black hawks. Tri-Cities means a region of three cities. It is about three small settlements on the border of Illinois and Iowa. They were named Black Hawks for the same reason as their namesake from the NHL – in honor of the Indian leader, who brought his tribe to the warpath in the middle of the 19th century.
Tri-Cities became one of the few clubs that survived their league. NBL, where such teams like Indianapolis Kautskys played, merged with the Basketball Association of America in 1949, creating the NBA. The black hawks, however, did not stay in Illinois, and in 1951 moved to the north.
Being in Wisconsin, the agricultural state, the executives realized that the name of the redoubtable leader was out of place, and they reduced the club name to Milwaukee Hawks. However, the second experiment also failed, and in four years, the Hawks moved to St. Louis, where they remained the name and began to play in a red-white-blue uniform. The design of the uniform was different: sometimes, the team performed with the image of hawks or St. Louis on their chest. Also, there were times when they didn’t use the pictures mentioned above.
In St. Louis, the club spent 13 seasons and even became the NBA champion, but then they decided to change the residence permit again. It was supposed to be the last moving. Thus, in 1968 Hawks settled in Atlanta, where the team has been playing to this day. The team doesn’t have champion titles but is proud of a rich history of club colors and emblems.
Atlanta Hawks logo history
Any of the NBA franchises traveled around the states and cities so much like the Atlanta Hawks, one of the oldest in the league. The Hawks were founded in 1946, and their primary logo included a blue basketball with the black-scripted “Tri-City Blackhawks” wordmark. In 1973, the logo featured the hawk’s head resembling the character of the computer toy PacMan that came back in 2014.
1946 – 1951
The team’s first name was the “Tri-City Blackhawks.” The primary logo represented a blue basketball with the club name inside. Also, it included the tri-city names (the names of three small settlements on the border of Illinois and Iowa): “Moline/Rock Island, Illinois” at the top and “Davenport, Iowa” at the bottom.
1951 – 1955
In 1952, the club name was changed to the Milwaukee Hawks, whose team logo palette now contained red and white. The franchise adopted a logo depicting a red and white hawk throwing a red basketball into the basket. The red arc-shaped “Milwaukee Hawks” wordmark was placed under the image.
1955 – 1957
After the team’s relocation to St. Louis, it changed its name to the St. Louis Hawks and introduced another hawk logo. It was a brown hawk flying and gripping a white basketball.
1957 – 1968
In 1958, the cartoonish logo was unveiled, in which the hawk looked more like a basketball player than a bird. It was wearing the Hawks uniform and knee pads and holding a basketball in the wings. The logo color scheme again included red and white. Below the image, there was the name of the team in a classic red font. The logo lasted for ten years.
1968 – 1969
Following the moving to Atlanta in 1969, the logo’s shape was slightly updated, while the red color was replaced by black. Also, the team name has been completely removed from the logo.
1969 – 1970
The next Hawks logo modification took place in 1970. A cartoon-style hawk with a basketball represented it. The yellow-beaked bird dressed in a white basketball uniform was running with a brown basketball in its wing.
1970 – 1972
In 1970, the team changed colors to blue-white-green, and the Atlanta Hawks bird was redesigned to a head, enclosed in a circle.
1972 – 1995
In 1972, a new sports complex was opened in Atlanta. Also, a hockey team Flames was founded at that time. In this regard, Hawks painted the uniform in the red, white, and yellow, the colors of their hockey brothers. The emblem of Atlanta Hawks also moved into the field of abstract art, and the hawk’s head began to resemble the character of the computer toy PacMan.
1995 – 2007
In 1995, there was another cardinal change in the logo. A hawk with spread wings and a ball in claws replaced the old emblem, which people called “PacMan.” The animal was made in red, black, and yellow tones, and the ball was painted brown.
2007 – 2015
In 2007, executives made the next step in changing the image of the club. Thus, the color of the Atlanta Hawks logo was changed to dark blue, red, white, and silver.
2015 – Present
In 2015, introduced new Atlanta Hawks emblem and also announced the change of the official name of the organization to Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club. The management wanted to return the old Atlanta Hawks logo style-specific of the 1972-1995 period. But according to the NBA rules, it is forbidden to reuse an old copy of the emblem. So designers solved this problem by slightly changing the hawk’s tilt. Also, they made the animal’s eye more predatory. The hawk was enclosed in a circle with a new club name that was added to it.