History of the Alfa Romeo Badge

The Alfa Romeo logo has evolved and changed many times since the foundation of the company in 1910. Its origins are surrounded by many myths and legends so what I am about to write must be treated with some caution.

It is generally accepted that the badge is based on the coat of arms of the Visconti family and the Red cross on a white back ground of Milan. In the early part of the 5th century AD a serpent that devoured humans was at large in the area around Milan and terrifying the local populous. It was slain by Ottoni Visconti and this heroic deed was celebrated as part of the coat of arms. While the red cross on a white back ground celebrates the deeds of Giovanni Da Rio who is reputed to have been the first to climb the walls of Jerusalem and erect a cross there during the first crusade. The badge can be seen as a shield, reversed, above the great door of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.

From here it becomes a little easier A.L.F.A. comes from the Italian Anomina Lombarda Fabrica Automobili (Lombarda car making company) and the original badge has Alfa written over the top of the badge and Milano underneath separated by two figure of eight knots. In 1920, five years after the take over by Nicola Romeo in December 1915 the badge changed to read Alfa Romeo above with Milano across the bottom. In 1925 a wreath was added to celebrate the marque’s numerous victorys on road and track, and this has since evolved into the gold trim which presently encompasses the badge. It was not until 1972 that Milano was dropped with the opening of the factory in Pomigliano d’Arco

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