Why exactly are there three lions on a shirt?

History records that the lion was first used by the Normans as the symbol of England during the 11th century. At this time a single lion was used on a red background, the red colour representing a battlefield. Over 100 years later, during the reign of Richard I (often referred to as Richard the Lionheart), two further golden lions were added to the crest.

Fast forward to 1872 and the first-ever competitive international football match for England against Scotland. It was felt that the shirts needed an emblem that represented national pride, so the Football Association made the decision to use the three lions as a symbol of ‘Englishness’.

Interestingly, the ‘Three Lions’ are officially a royal emblem, therefore The FA has to seek permission from the Royal Family when they need to use it – which means the logo is not the sole propriety of the organisation that it represents. For the 1966 World Cup final, as the designated away team England interestingly wore red shirts and white shorts to avoid a clash with the German’s traditional white shirts and black shorts.

Derby County legend Steve Bloomer, who played 23 times for England between 1895-1907 scoring 28 goals, is pictured below wearing his shirt with pride.

However, there was one minor design change undertaken in 1949, when the crown above the lions was removed in order to differentiate the badge from that of the England cricket team.

In May 2021, the FA revealed a new lion logo for its grassroots initiative England Football. It features a red lion, lioness and cub, and aims to give the crest “a fresh purpose that symbolises inclusivity at all levels of football,” according to an FA spokesperson. Personally, I’m not sure it will last the test of time in the same way as the current logo has basically remained the same for over 55 years.

Interesting that the FA has kept the traditional ‘Three Lions’ on the national shirt, as seen below.

So, whether 55 years of hurt ends on Sunday night or not, it’s worth remembering the 1,000 years of history that inspired the lyrics “three lions on a shirt” in the now famous ‘It’s coming home’ anthem.

Share post

More News Posts

Our award submissions help client get nominated

Being shortlisted for, and hopefully winning, awards go a long way to demonstrating a business’s credibility as being at the forefront of their respective industries.

Read Article

THE TRUE LEGACY OF THE CLOUGH TAYLOR MONUMENT

The Derby County match against Peterborough United on 27th August 2022 will be the twelfth anniversary of the unveiling of the statue of Clough and Taylor located outside Pride Park Stadium. Today, just as it was in the Clough Taylor era, winning silverware is the barometer by which managerial success in football is measured. Working…

Read Article

A new brand with a touch of Thailand

Thailicious needed a rebrand. Using the existing name, the first step for We are Kudos was to explore the culture and delights of Thailand. Sadly, this didn’t involve a trip to Thailand, but lots of research into Thai culture and cuisine including the spices and flavours used in traditional cooking.

Read Article

GA & Invictus Communications Charity Golf Day

Our client, German Automotive, in conjunction with Invictus Communications, held its annual golf day at Kedleston Park last week. The event, which raised much-needed funds for the Derby-based Safe & Sound charity, was attended by 64 golfers from across Derbyshire. It proved to be a keenly contested event, with the YMCA team of Grace Harrison,…

Read Article

The world has woken up to the climate crisis

In order to realise a net zero and nature positive future, the built environment sector needs to reduce the impact its demand for products and materials is having on the planet.   Using real-world case studies from Australia to the UK, our animation team created this video for Arup with support from the Ellen MacArthur…

Read Article

We are Kudos supports the Prince’s Trust Charity

This year We are Kudos put in a team at The Prince’s Trust Charity Golf Day at Kedleston Park Golf Club. Our co-founders David and Denise were joined by Mark King and Jerry Skinner from 2bm Limited. The Prince’s Trust helps young people to build their confidence and start a career by offering free courses,…

Read Article

Let’s Work Together

If you have a project you would like to discuss, we would love to hear from you.

Get In Touch