Barcelona’s club emblem is one of the most famous images in football, yet its origins are not widely known.
The badge represents the deep history of Barcelona, but it has often been misinterpreted and left fans asking questions, primarily “Why is the England flag on the Barcelona badge?”
Here’s the truth behind the Barcelona badge.
Foot-Ball Club Barcelona was founded in November 1899 when Switzerland native Hans Gamper (more famously known as Joan in Catalonia) sent out an invite to form a football team. A handful of locals joined up, as did Englishmen John and William Parsons.
From the get-go, this club simply used Barcelona’s coat of arms as their badge – a rhombus with sections divided between the Catalonian Bars of Aragon and Saint George’s Cross. Saint George is the patron saint of both England and Barcelona, so its presence on the club’s crest actually has nothing to do with the Parsons’ early involvement.
In 1910, the first designs for an exclusive crest were submitted. It was a sleek shield which replaced the rhombus but still incorporated both the cross and the Catalan colours, alongside the introduction of the blue and red stripes in the bottom half of the badge that represented the colour of the team’s early kits. Across the centre were the letters F.C.B – Football Club de Barcelona.
Barcelona have tweaked that format over the years but have never made any major alternations. In 1920, alterations were made to the shape of the shield and the strength of the colours, with F.C.B now written on a yellow background. 16 years later, that would change to black.
Then, in 1941, Barcelona went through somewhat of an identity crisis. F.C.B became C.F.B, and in 1949, that became C.de F.B, for Club de Futbol Barcelona.
C.F.B returned in 1960, along with some minor cosmetic tweaks, before the famous F.C.B was brought back in 1974. A few more adjustments were made and a badge was produced in 1975 that would be kept until 2002.
With a new millennium now upon the club, Barcelona chose to modernise their design in 2002, handing the keys to designer Claret Serrahima. He brought us what we know today – a sleek, simple design with minimal accents on the shield and no dots in the abbreviated letters. FCB it is.
As a club which takes great pride in its identity, Barcelona have done their best to keep their traditional logo wherever possible.
They did announce plans to modernise the design for the 2019/20 season, including the removal of the initials and strip across the middle of the shield, but they were since abandoned.
The expectation is that Barcelona will update their logo in the near future. They wanted to back in 2018 but didn’t follow through with it, but what that proves is that the desire to introduce change is there.