Football is a timeless sport and has ever-growing popularity around the world. While fans choose what club they will support on many bases, it mostly comes down to their favourite players playing there or the club winning lots of trophies or even because their friends support the same teams. But they often ignore the finer details that define what a club is, its history and the meanings of certain things such as its statues, stadiums, colours, and even club crests and logos.
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Have you ever wondered why there’s an England flag in the logos of two of the most successful clubs in Europe that aren’t even based in England? Yes, Barcelona and AC Milan, who have won combined 12 Champions League titles, have the England flag in their logos if you look closely.
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But why does a club from Spain and a club from Italy have the England flag in their logos? Let us solve this mystery for you —
The Milan club has an oval logo with its initials “ACM” written over it along with stripes in club colours red and black, and its founding year “1899” mentioned at the bottom. But the right half of the logo carries a white flag which looks pretty similar to that of England. But is it really an English flag? Well, there are two theories about it and two very contrasting ones.
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While it is pretty clear and obvious that the flag can be of England’s considering the club’s history. AC Milan was founded in 1899 by two Englishmen — Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kiplin. Kiplin was also the first captain and club chairman apart from being one of its founding fathers.
The white flag with a red cross is associated with Saint George’s and is known as the Saint George’s cross. England adopted the St. George’s cross in their flag and hence it became the English flag. Since the club was founded by two Englishmen, it is possible that the cross has the same meaning.
While it is a much-believed theory among fans and especially overseas fans, there is another angle to Milan’s logo that gives a completely different meaning to the logo. The red cross on a white flag that is largely believed to be the Saint George’s Cross is also the flag of Milano’s patron saint — Saint Ambrose. The local fans believe this theory to be true and that the logo has no significance or relation to the English flag.
The Barcelona logo has three components in total. The bottom of the logo bears the club colours of Blaugrana and has a football in the middle of it. In the top half of the logo, there are two flags. One flag carries red and yellow stripes that can be credited to the fact that they are based in Catalonia. And the other flag is the same red cross that can be seen on the logo of AC Milan and on the English flag. Fans wonder whether it is actually the English flag or whether it is just a coincidence.
Barcelona has a relatively simpler relation to the English flag as compared to AC Milan. The connection lies in the fact that Barcelona is based in Catalonia and the Catalonia flag itself has the same red cross on it as well. And it is indeed related to the English flag but not because of the nation itself but rather due to Saint George. It is an old legend from when Saint George was a soldier of the Roman Army and was serving in Catalonia.
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The legend says that once a village was attacked by a fierce dragon and was adamant about the destruction of the village. Saint George fought with the dragon and saved the princess of Montblanc that was stuck in danger. The beastly dragon was left dead and this became an epic in the region. Although he’s known as Sant Jordi in the area, Saint George is still celebrated around the Catalonian region.
The influence of Saint George has resulted in the inclusion of his Red Cross flag in the Catalonian flag. Which in turn, influenced the football club Barcelona to include the same in their club crest.