Editor’s note: This post has been updated since it originally published July 13, 2020, when Washington’s NFL franchise first announced it would be changing it’s nickname and logo.
Washington’s NFL franchise will reveal its new name and logo Wednesday after spending the past two seasons known as the Washington Football Team.
While much speculation surrounds what the new name will be — particularly the Commanders — there has been no official confirmation. Team president Jason Wright has only said it won’t have any Native American connection, nor will it be RedWolves, a name that became a favorite on social media.
Washington announced on July 13, 2020 that it would retire its former name after 87 years and embark on a search for a new one. That process ends Wednesday.
Here’s a look at the various logos featuring Native American imagery the franchise used for decades, along with an example of the generic look the team has used the past two seasons.
The franchise officially moved away from Boston to begin its tenure in Washington. Before the team took on the Native American profile logo, it was known as the Boston Braves and played at Fenway Park.
Washington’s logo had a yellow circle around the profile, similar to the current look. But for seven years in the 1950s, the ring went missing.
In the early 1960s the uniform had a simplistic look, without much flare, except for a feather decal that ran down the center line of the helmet.
For the first time in its Washington tenure, the team ditched the profile logo for a white-and-gold spear and feather.
Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi was head coach in Washington for one season in 1969. He led the team to its first winning season in 14 years.
Lombardi also advocated for a logo change away from the spear to an R, similar to the G worn by his former team, the Packers. His vision became a reality for the 1970 season, just before his death in September of that year.
When coach George Allen Jr. came over from the Rams in 1971, he looked to make a change. The team consulted with Native Americans to develop an updated profile logo that players wore on their helmets for the first time.
Washington won its first Super Bowl in 1982 behind quarterback Joe Theismann and Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. The logo used on the Super Bowl helmets, featuring C-patterned double feathers, was modified for 1983. The team again made the Super Bowl in ’83 but lost to the Raiders.
Washington won two more Super Bowls in 1987 and ’91, but hasn’t won a conference championship since.
Native American activists have been asking Washington to change its nickname since the early 1970s. Current owner Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013 he would “never change the name.” That stance changed in the summer of 2020, when investors threatened to end their relationships with the team if it did not change it.
The 2019 season was the last time Washington used any Native American imagery for its logo.
The franchise has kept its burgundy and gold color scheme the past two seasons and will do so with the new name and logo announced Wednesday.