The Washington Football Team is a member of the National Football League and one of the NFC East clubs. The team was founded by George Preston Marshall, who became eligible for the NFL in 1932. Until 2020, the football franchise was known as the Washington Redskins, and even earlier, it was known as the Boston Redskins and Boston Braves. Because of the previous name, he often got into scandals, which is why the recent rebranding.
Meaning and History
The team’s old nickname has always been a cause for controversy and protests over the interpretation of the word. It was originally called the Boston Braves, but Marshall did not want to be confused with the same name from Major League Baseball franchise. The owner thought the Redskins were a great alternative. He played with this title in every possible way, forcing the players to wear feathers and other attributes of the American Indians. And sometimes, the players came to the stadium smeared in the dark paint.
In 1967, the nickname became the official trademark. By that time, the football club had many logos associated with it. In 1971, critics publicly spoke out for the first time about the offensive meaning of the word Redskins and demanded to stop using it. Perhaps there was some truth in this because George Preston Marshall became famous as a racist during his lifetime. The team responded to all claims by changing the emblem, choosing a detailed image of the head of an Indian. Walter Wetzel created this symbol.
Subsequently, the football franchise several times fell into similar scandals. Native Americans protested, signed petitions, and sued the Washington Redskins to get it renamed. The new owner of the club, Daniel Snyder, vowed that he would never allow this, although even President Barack Obama advised him to listen to the activists.
Opponents of the Redskins name won in 2020. After the assassination of George Floyd, investors demanded that sponsors stop financially supporting the franchise as long as it bears the offending name. And large online retailers refused to sell her products. Amid growing and widespread pressure, Daniel Snyder was forced to change his oath. This gave the club a new temporary name, Washington Football Team, and the same temporary logo. The final rebranding is expected to take place in 2022.
In 1932 the Boston Braves club was founded. Its logo looked like a stylized Indian head turned to the left. The main color was red, and white was used for the inner contours. The artists depicted the feather headdress in detail so that it was clear that this was the leader of the tribe.
1933 – 1936
Following the renaming, the team updated the emblem with a portrait of the Native American inside an orange ring with a white center. The full crown was replaced by two feathers in the hair, and the head was turned to the right. The main palette is now black and white.
1937 – 1951
Marshall felt that the fans in Boston were not active enough, so he moved the franchise to Washington, leaving the old nickname. The logo has remained the same, apart from the changes in style and color palette. The artists have detailed the image, added more vibrant hues, and made the feathers red.
1952 – 1959
In the middle of the 20th century, another redesign took place. The developers paid attention to the realism of the image. The Indian’s face has become three-dimensional due to the superimposed shadows. The feathers in the dark hair have been enlarged, and the yellow frame ring has disappeared.
1960 – 1964
In 1960, the designers returned to the old color scheme, which was used in 1932. Only the tribal chief this time turned white, and all the outlines and background were repainted in burgundy.
1965 – 1969
The most notable change occurred in 1965 when the developers of the team emblem depicted a spear with a feather instead of an Indian. They felt that these attributes were enough to underline the Washington Redskins’ identity. The spear was white and yellow, with a short shaft and a sharp diamond-shaped tip.
1970 – 1971
Coach Vince Lombardi inspired the new logo. On his initiative, in 1970, the team abandoned the usual images, leaving only two feathers as a reminder of the Indian theme. A small tuft of feathers was attached to a burgundy ring with a capital “R” inside.
1972 – 1981
The emblem, which became the basis for all subsequent marks of the Washington Redskins football franchise, was designed in 1972 with Native American leaders. Its author is Walter Wetzel. The design was inspired by the Buffalo nickel, a five-cent coin featuring the famous leader John “Two Guns” White Calf.
The logo featured an Indian face in profile, with prominent cheekbones, a straight nose, and two white feathers in black hair. The head was inside a yellow ring, which on the left side was decorated with two more feathers but of a larger size. At the same time, a word sign appeared – the burgundy inscription “REDSKINS”, executed in bold sans serif type.
To fit the logo onto the helmet patches, the designers pressed the outer feathers against the ring. And at the same time, they turned the leader’s head to the left (before that, the Indian’s gaze was directed to the right) and slightly changed the shades of colors.
1983 – 2020
The team brought back the 1972 logo by Walter Wetzel after the helmet sticker maker adopted a more flexible base. This version completely repeated the original. All the details matched, right down to the loose feathers and turning the head to the right.
Over the 37 years that the Washington Redskins have worn the themed logo on their uniforms, they have been criticized for both the name and the graphic symbol. However, the leaders refused to change anything. They argued that the franchise, on the other hand, glorifies the Indians and reminds them of their existence. Despite this position, they still had to rebrand.
2020 – today
Under pressure from the community, the Washington Redskins were reorganized into the Washington Football Team. National protests in 2020 led to this. The new name was chosen by trainer Ron Rivera and owner Daniel Snyder. It was originally planned to be temporary, only for the 2020 NFL season. As it became known later, it will be replaced along with graphic symbols by September 2022.
The temporary logo is in the team’s traditional colors, with a jagged yellow “W” inside a red-brown square. There is also a wordmark with a yellow inscription “WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, EST. 1932 “in a burgundy rectangle.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The executives of the football franchise took the time to come up with a more creative nickname and a matching logo. Until then, they use the standard icon with a “W” in the square. The classic image of the Indian is finally a thing of the past.
The word “WASHINGTON” uses an unusual, bold typeface with sharp serifs, and the phrase “FOOTBALL TEAM” uses a sans serif version. The colors of the team remained traditional: gold (FFB612) and burgundy (5B2B2F). The logo with the letter “W” has a red-brown square.