Stoke Citys current football badge is a bit boring really, simply being the teams colours and nickname. There is a little bit of inconsistency though as the badge says 1863, some sources suggest the football club didn’t actually come into being till 1868.
The badge was introduced in 2001, supposedly to "reflect the Icelandic influence in the club" - the club was owned for a short while by an Icelandic consortium. Of course the cynical amongst us would believe it was maybe more of an attempt to ensure they could patent it, which they couldnt with the original as it was based on the Coat of Arms.
Further controversy surrounded its introduction as it was apparently introduced without a promised consultation with the Fans Forum who had been promised an input, a promise conveniently forgotten !!
Anyway, enough of the current badge, the old one is a lot more interesting, the two examples we’ve shown below are taken from the 1959 Sports Encyclopedia .....
..... and the Esso badge collection in the early 70’s;
Both are adapted from the Citys coat of arms which was granted in 1912.
The badge below is taken from a 1970's Football review magazine and shows the coat of arms in its entirety, this badge has some really interesting elements to it that at first glance aren’t really apparent.
Starting from the top you can see a Potter, an obvious reflection on the towns history in the pottery industry. We then have two Staffordshire knots, this of course signifies the county Stoke is situated in.
The Boars Head in the middle of the knots represent Longton, (one of the 6 areas of Stoke, the others being Stoke, Hanley, Burslem, Fenton and Tunstall) and comes from the arms of Heathcote of Longton Hall.
We then come to the four quarters, the shield is quartered by a red and gold fretted cross, part of the arms of Burslem. The top left quarter shows a jug, this is a Portland Vase for Fenton and is another symbolic connection to the pottery industry.
On the right of this is a kneeling camel, this the emblem of Hanley and we can only assume that as a camel is renowned as a proud animal this therefore is said to signify that Stoke are a proud team that commands respect.
The Eagle in the bottom left quarter is a black eagle for Stoke-on-Trent, this supposedly signifies Stoke soaring above their rivals. The scyth is apparently representing Tunstall however we are a little unsure as to why this is the case.
Finally the motto on the bottom reads `VIS UNITA FORTIOR,` which roughly translated means `Strength United is More Powerful` or “unity is strength”
So there we are, isn’t that a bit more interesting football badge than the rather plain effort they are using at the moment ?
By the way thanks to Dave for some of the info above, Dave is author of "More ! You could'ner make it up", a brilliant book about Stoke City that any self respecting Stoke fan should have in their collection.