Two years after the formation of the Royal Arsenal Football Club, in 1888, its first emblem was adopted. It should be noted that the football club’s crest was essentially a copy of the crest of the London Borough of Woolwich, where Arsenal was formed. The original emblem included three columns, very reminiscent of chimneys, but by design they were cannons (in the first photo). The fact is that the whole history of Woolwich was inextricably linked to British military history. Woolwich was home to the Royal Arsenal, the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the main military hospitals in England. All of these magnificent structures can still be seen today. The image of the guns on the football club’s crest emphasises their origin and location. Even despite the club’s gradual move away from military affairs, over the next 89 years, Arsenal’s management retained the arms as a historic symbol of the team. In those distant years, the emblem of the football club was not as important as it is today. The club crest adorned pre-match programmes and the attire of team officials and managers, and only appeared on the players’ own shirts during cup finals.

Team History

In 1913, Royal Arsenal moved from Woolwich to a more northerly part of London, and the club’s permanent symbol was threatened as the geographical connection to the wartime past was lost, and the team soon became known simply as Arsenal. For several years, including the four war years, the club had no official crest, and it was not until the first game of the 1922/23 season, when Arsenal played Burnley, that a huge gun appeared in the pre-match programme as the club’s emblem, with “The Gunners” modestly displayed alongside. Vertical guns were a thing of the past, replaced by a single gun pointing east. Unfortunately, we now have no idea who did this work, nor why the emblem was changed three years later, in the 1925/26 season, when it suddenly turned westwards, having acquired a more elegant outline. Be that as it may, the iconic inscription ‘The Gunners’ was retained on the club’s next crest .
The origin of the fancier image of the cannon on the club’s crest has never been explained by the authorities, but in the following image it was the west-facing cannon that was doubled three times and was the main element of the Arsenal London emblem.
The origin of the more elegant image of the cannon in the club’s crest has never been explained by the authorities, but in the following image it is the west-facing cannon that has been duplicated three times and is the main element of the emblem of Arsenal London.

This cannon was the main symbol of the club for the next 17 seasons, when the cannon was modified and replaced by the new logo with the Latin expression Victoria Concordia Crescit, which it retained from 1949 to the present day.

The image of this cannon was the main symbol of the club for the next 17 seasons, when the western cannon was slightly modified and adopted its new form in the logo with the Latin expression “Victoria Concordia Crescit”, in which it has existed from 1949 to the present day.
The Victoria Concordia Crescit emblem had been the club’s official design since the first match of the 1949/50 season, when it was presented to the public in the opening match programme. But the history of the emblem’s origin dates back to the triumphant 1947/48 season, when the Canaries won the first English gold medal since the Second World War. The club’s 1947/48 magazine programme contained a quote from Harry Hommer, editor-in-chief of the club’s magazine: “…. I have long searched for the phrase which would best describe the splendid season of Tom Whittaker, Joe Mercer and the team and have decided to use the Latin Victoria Concordia Crescit, which means ‘Victory comes from harmony’.

Two years later, the club’s management decided to apply the legendary Latin phrase, which in the 1949/50 season became Arsenal’s official motto. The new logo also included the inscription ‘Arsenal’ in Gothic style, the west-facing cannon and the crest of the London Borough of Islington.

For the next 53 years, the first Victoria Concordia Crescit coat of arms remained essentially unchanged, undergoing various cosmetic repairs. First, more colours were added to the emblem and the decorative font of the motto “Victoria Concordia Crescit” was replaced by a more modern one. Later, various shades of gold were added to the coat of arms.

Thus, for more than half a century, Arsenal Football Club has hardly changed its traditions in terms of the official emblem, but in 2002 the management decided to make a real revolution of the main symbolism. The decision to almost completely modernise the team’s crest was taken for two reasons. Firstly, the emblem of Victoria Concordia Crescit includes several elements whose origin is somewhat controversial, so the club’s management cannot take full responsibility for the copyright. Secondly, moving the club into the future has always been a fundamental idea of the management, and with the construction of the new stadium and the turn of the millennium, it was decided to adopt a new crest .
Peter Hill-Wood on the change of the club crest: “The new club crest has been adopted because it perfectly synthesises the historical values of Arsenal and the tradition of the club’s symbolism: the cannon on the crest which is the main image of the club. I would also like to point out that this change is not a revolution, but an evolution of the club’s symbolism. We are not the kind of football clubs that modify their emblems simply to make a profit; we are aware of and honour our commitment to our fans who support the old banner. However, we are also confident that the fans will like our new design.


The team shirts for the 2011/12 season were issued with a new logo to commemorate the club’s 125th anniversary. The new emblem was a combination of the modern and the first version from 1888.

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