The Philadelphia “Eagle”: Five facts about the team’s logo

Posted on February 7, 2023

“Fly Eagles Fly” or “Go Birds” — two of the most popular sayings pertaining to Philadelphia football. The Eagle was chosen as the team’s name in 1933 when the franchise was created. And since that time, it’s become an integral part of sports fans across the city.

From apparel to memorabilia, even to personal tattoos, the Eagle has a special meaning to those who support the team. But, it also carries significance to those who designed it.


1. The Eagle is the only official NFL logo that face left.

31 of the 32 professional football logos are either circular and/or facing toward the right, with the exception of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The franchise was granted a special waiver by the league to face left in order to hide a secret symbol.

2. The letter “E” is incorporated into the Bird’s wings.

The secret symbol in the logo is actual the letter “E” seen in the Eagle’s three feathers. While most have a hard time seeing it without knowing, it’s hard to unsee after it’s been identified.

The design for the logo featuring the letter “E” was launched in 1996.

3. The logo has evolved through nine renditions. 

With the most recent logo designed in 1996, there were eight others that came before it.

The first logo for the Philadelphia Eagles was created in 1933 when the franchise was founded to replace the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Three years later, it was revised and the green color was born (changed from blue).

In 1943, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh joined teams, calling themselves the “Steagles”. With the merger, came modifications to the logo. Though the Eagle stayed, the color was changed from blue to black, representing the oppressive state the world was in during World War II.

The following year, the logo returned to the color green. After two more revisions, the bird was taken away in 1973 and replaced with a helmet featuring the wings of an eagle. In 1987, the Eagles created their first left-facing logo, depicting an eagle with its wings spread. It later became the eagle head fans are familiar with today, with the hidden “E”.

4. The Eagle symbolizes a fighting spirit and determination.

The Eagles’ logo symbolizes everything the City of Philadelphia encompasses — a fighting spirit and determination. Could they have picked anything better?

As a blue-collar city, Philadelphia works hard and plays even harder. They’re gritty. And even though we believe in ourselves, no one else believes in us. It makes the work tougher, but the payoff is even greater.

They call themselves the underdogs and rather than feeling inferior, they feed off of it. That’s an Eagle.

5. The Eagle is the national symbol of the United States.

Probably the best fact of them all. Philadelphia’s biggest rival, the Dallas Cowboys, call themselves “America’s Team” based off of popularity, and while that may make them feel good, America is actually represented by the Eagle.

As the symbol for patriotism, it’s been the national bird since 1782. When the Eagles were founded, the team wanted to celebrate spirit, using the eagle as a representation.

So the next time a Cowboys’ fan mentions “America’s Team”, let them know that’s the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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Alicia Andaloro

Alicia was born and raised in Philadelphia, becoming an avid Eagles fan as a child. She graduated from Penn State University and now works in the medical field. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and baking.

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