Learn about the Alfa Romeo Badge
Even though car fans know the Alfa Romeo brand, the brand has been non-existent in the US for many years. Now that the Fiat Group owns the brand, it will not be long before Alfa Romeo models become recognizable to a new generation. As of this point, just over 80 dealers in the United States will soon be selling the classic Italian lineup. While buyers will not be seeing cars like the Alfa Romeo 164, they will be seeing plenty of Alfa’s with the unusual logo.
Big Logos on Fancy Cars
The Alfa Romeo 164 from the 1980s and 1990s was known for its large logo on the front grill. While car was recognizable and the logo was recognizable, many people do not know the symbolism of the Italian label. Like the designs of the cars, the logos have gone through a few different style changes, but three things have been the same. With the exception of the original logo, the badge has always had the name Alfa Romeo on it along with the cross and the snake.
Where the Name Originates
The name Alfa is the acronym for the name Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, which was the location of the factory that manufactured the cars beginning in 1910. In 1910, the cars brand was called ALFA MILANO, as a reference to the factory and the city. The logo of the cross and snake was meant to represent the coat of arms belonging to an influential family from that stylish and ancient city. The name Romeo was added, and Milano dropped, when the car company was purchased by Nicola Romeo in 1915.
Design Inspiration for the Logo
The logo was designed in 1910 when a man named Romano Cattaneo was waiting for a train in Milan. He saw the red cross of the flag of Milan and he saw the House of Visconti’s Coat of Arms. The red cross is quite harmless as a logo, but the coat of arms featured a snake eating a man. The snake was symbolic of the family being able to destroy their enemies.
Cars and the Crusades
Interestingly, there is much more history to the logos that the designer seeing them near the train station. The red cross on the flag of Milan dates back to the Crusades, where during that time, the cross was not a beacon of hope, but a sign of imminent danger approaching. The snake eating a man also dates back to the Crusades, where this symbol was often used to show the defeat of the Moors.