The state of Ohio (particularly the northern part nearby Detroit) has always been partial to hockey. Still, the NHL officials didn’t show a desire to establish any franchise here for some reason. The Cleveland Barons, relocated from California in the 1970s, were merged with the Minnesota North Stars after just two seasons. In the late 1990s, Cleveland was not the most famous sports city. Though the baseball club competed in Major League Baseball, the basketball team had consecutive losing seasons with no playoff action; a new football team was only planned to replace the one that escaped to Baltimore. Under these circumstances, the Ohioans decided to establish a hockey team in rapidly growing Columbus, the state capital city. At that time, it was a home city for the Crew, a professional soccer club. It did not mean that hockey would have no competition, the town was literarily obsessed with college football, but it would not be as fierce as Cleveland.
The National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman approved the bid, as he worked to keep interested in hockey alive in Ohio. But the city authorities did not want to allocate public money for sports facilities. It was decided to hold a referendum, which manifested that Columbus’s residents did not wish the publicly financed arena. Columbus’ hopes for the NHL’s bid dimmed. Suddenly, the insurance and financial service company Nationwide announced that it would pay for constructing the $150-million arena.
The Columbus Blue Jackets played their first NHL regular season in 2000. The name-the-team contest showed that more than 14,000 fans support the Columbus Blue Jackets variant. The team is named after the Union soldiers’ uniform during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Ohio is extremely proud of its key role in providing troops, military officers, and supplies to the North Army. It raised more soldiers than any other state. Several leading generals were from Ohio, including Ulysses Grant (future US president), William Sherman, James Garfield (future US president), and George Custer. Finally, the Union’s dark blue uniforms were sewn exactly in Columbus. The name came out twice as relevant. Besides, Blue Jacket was the Shawnee Indian chief known for his militant defense of the tribe’s lands in Ohio in the late 18th – early 19th centuries.
So, now it is clear where the Blue Jackets’ name came from. By the way, the famous cannon fired at home games whenever the Blue Jackets score a goal is an homage to Ohio’s history. The official mascot of the Columbus Blue Jackets is Stinger, a bright green bug with red eyes.
The color scheme contains blue, red, and white, which are the colors of Ohio and USA flags. However, the team’s logo slightly let the fans down with its neon green stick. In general, it was not attractive. The initial logo had a red ribbon with stars unfurled in the shape of “CB” letters with a hockey stick cutting through the center to represent the “J.” An additional silver star crowned the stick represented Columbus’s status as the state capital. The logo much resembled the Christmas tree.
The alternate logo for the franchise was the wasp. Wasp? Why? It can seem a bit weird, but it is wordplay. Yellowjacket is the common name in North America for predatory social wasps. Inspired by this symmetry, the club had come up with a new insect unknown to nature – a wasp in a Yankee soldier jacket with a stick. Fortunately, the fans disliked this angry insect, which caused its “death” several years later.
In 2003, the Blue Jackets obtained a new, alternate, dark blue color jersey with two new logos.
Meaning and History
The Columbus Blue Jackets originated in Ohio in November 1997 as the NHL expansion. Although the Columbus Blue Jackets only have three logos, they are legendary identification marks. They are dedicated to the entire population of Ohio, particularly to Columbus’s city, as a tribute to the country’s tremendous support during the Civil War. All emblems are associated with the franchise’s name and symbolize patriotism, courage, fearlessness, the desire to win.
2000 – 2003
In 2000, the team introduced the first logo, which consisted of an emblem and an inscription. The Emblem had a red ribbon with 13 stars representing 13 Colonies. A Yellow J-shaped hockey stick cuts the center with a silver star atop, symbolizing Columbus. Written in white and framed in red, the team’s name, “Blue Jackets,” was located under the city’s name. The entire logo was placed in a dark blue background.
2004 – 2007
Next four years, the logo remained almost the same as the previous one. There still was the red ribbon with thirteen white stars, the yellow J-shaped stick, and Ohio’s silver star, but this time, it was decided to remove the textual elements completely.
2008 – present
Eleven years ago, another logo change was part of a Reebok-sponsored redesign for the new season. The version with a sizeable silvery star is now used. She is surrounded by the Ohio flag wrapped around her in the letter C’s shape. The beginning of the panel (where the shaft should be) is on the right and, bending, turns to the left and then up, forming a loop. The bottom two rays of the five-pointed star extend beyond the flag and form sharp triangles. The right and top rays are fully visible, while the left is hidden behind the panel, so it seems smaller in size.
The logo also has twelve small stars and a circle between them. White and red stripes occupy the rest. All elements are outlined along the edge with a dark blue line, expanding at the top and becoming the flag’s shadow.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The debut version is an unusual monogram – “CBJ,” an abbreviation of the phrase “Columbus Blue Jackets.” The red stripes and yellow club are positioned so that the letters are legible. The signs have sharp corners, and at the top of the improvised “j” instead of a dot, a large star is seen. There are smaller stars on the ribbon. The second Emblem is also an abbreviation – this time, the words “Columbus.” She points to the city where the franchise is located.
The abbreviation is made in an individual font. The name at the bottom of the very first logo is in a classic serif typeface. Uppercase “B” and “J” appear larger than the others, although all characters are uppercase.
According to the Pantone Color Matching System, the Emblem contains the hockey club’s official colors: blue PMS 282, plain silver PMS 429, red PMS 186. Metallic silver PMS 877 and white are also used.