The first New England Patriots logo was simply a navy blue cocked hat featuring white details against a white background. It was used for the team’s debut season (1960) only. The following season, there was a new Patriots logo design with more features named Pat Patriot. Wearing a navy blue cocked hat, Pat Patriot also became the team’s mascot.
But eventually, the cartoon image of Pat Patriot made way for the stern face of Flying Elvis. The new logo design was easier to incorporate in modern ads thanks to its compactness. The color palette of the Patriot’s logo has also remained largely unchanged throughout its history—a combination of various shades of blue, red, and white.
History and Evolution of the New England Patriots Logo
Being a graphical symbol of the team’s name, the New England Patriots logo is designed with the color scheme of the U.S. national flag—a blue-red-white tricolor as well as a super patriotic image. The logo has been redesigned multiple times throughout the team’s history and has only become more stylish and bolder over time.
The first-ever New England Patriots logo (originally called Boston Patriots) was unveiled in 1960 and stayed on for just a year. The visual identity boasted a simple image of a white and blue cocked hat, which American soldiers wore.
While the emblem was plain and clean with no additional details and lettering, it was strong and visible.
A year after the formation of New England Patriots, a new logo version was designed and stayed with the team until the early 1990s. Introduced in 1961, the new emblem portrayed a man in military regalia catching a football on the ground.
Pat’s uniform was drawn in white, red, and blue, with a red football matching his red cocked hat. Pat looked very ready and determined to get a hold of the ball and run with it.
In 1965, Pat Patriot had his contours refined, while the color scheme got a new pink hue for Pat’s skin. The football’s color was also changed the same year—it was now drawn in blue and brown to look more realistic.
In 1971, Boston Patriots were renamed New England Patriots, and the team kept using the previous logo version without changes. Pat Patriot stayed on as the team’s main symbol until 1993, when New England Patriots adopted the current modern visual identity design.
In the early 1990s, New England Patriots realized that it needed to make certain changes to its classic logo to symbolize the growth and progress of the team and its ability to change. So in 1993, the team’s new emblem was designed by Ken Loh, a renowned graphic designer at the time.
That year, the Patriots focused on making its logo adaptable for advertising on different types of media. Since it was hard to replicate the iconic Pat Patriot image, a decision was taken to update it.
The new logo version was called Flying Elvis, and it was just Pat Patriot’s head wearing an elegant revolutionary cocked hat. It was a great fit for banner ads. The grey face of Pat was complemented by a white and blue hat that slotted seamlessly into a wavy banner. And on top of Pat’s head, there was a white shining star.
The Flying Elvis logo was slightly changed in 2000—only the blue shade got a little darker. All the other colors stayed the same, which gave the iconic, stylish logo a more stable and serious look.
The New England Patriots Logo Design Elements
Symbol: The current Patriots Flying Elvis emblem symbolizes the football club’s patriotic spirit—evidenced by the shining white five-star—one of the primary features of the U.S. flag. In addition, the drawn person isn’t a random individual but the revolutionary who’s part of the club’s name.
Font: The current “Patriots” wordmark was introduced in July 1993. It has a unique font with unnatural sharp elements. The Patriots did have various wordmarks previously (introduced in 1960, 1961, and 1993). In addition, they have a second wordmark, which features the letters “N” and “E” overlapping each other.
Color: Since 1961, the Patriots logo has had the red and navy blue color scheme. Only the shades have changed slightly throughout the period, and the current version features the darkest tone of blue.
The History of New England Patriots
The Boston Patriots joined the AFL (American Football League) in 1960 and immediately fielded a competitive lineup featuring quarterback Vito Parilli (aka “Babe”), wideout Gino Cappelletti, and linebacker Nick Buoniconti. During their second season, the Patriots registered a winning record and qualified to the AFL title decider in their fourth.
But after finishing second in the division in 1966, the Patriots recorded seven losing seasons in a row. The team also struggled to get a permanent home ground, playing at four Boston-area sites in 10 years. The Patriots, who were competing in the NFL after the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970, moved to Foxborough in 1971 and rebranded to New England Patriots.
Headed by one of the best offensive players in NFL history, John Hannah, quarterback Steve Grogan, and cornerback and future Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, the Patriots enjoyed sporadic glory days between the 1970s and 1980s.
They made their Super Bowl debut in 1986 but were crushed 46-10 by a strong Chicago Bears team. The Patriots would make their next Super Bowl appearance eleven years later, this time captained by Drew Bledsoe and Coach Bill Parcells. The Patriots then lost to Green Bay Packers, but made it to the playoffs for three straight years.
The Patriots pulled off one of the biggest coups in franchise history by hiring head coach Bill Belichick in 2000. A renowned defensive assistant trainer throughout most of this coaching career (he was also Cleveland Browns’ head coach between 1991 and 1995), Belichick immediately assembled a strong team built around unsung veteran free agents like blocking back Corey Dillon, linebacker Mike Vrabel, and smart draft selections like cornerback Ty Law and Tedy Bruschi.
Bledsoe suffered a serious injury in 2001, opening the door for a relatively untested sixth-round draft choice Tom Brady to lead the Patriots’ attack to an unexpected Super Bowl championship the next February. Brady went on to become a top passer and guided the team to a further four Super Bowl titles between 2004 and 2017.
Prior to the 2007 season, New England Patriots acquired All-Pro wideout Randy Moss and proceeded to smash many offensive records and record the sole 16-0 season record in the history of the NFL, only to lose the 2008 Super Bowl final to underdogs New York Giants.
During the 2010 NFL season, Moss was sold, but the Patriots continued to be one of the highest scorers in the league, assisted by a great passing attack headed by Brady, versatile Y receiver Rob Gronkowsi, and wideout Wes Welker. The Patriots posted their best record in the AFC in 2010 as well as 2011, and qualified for a rematch with New York Giants in the 2011 Super Bowl finals, only to lose again.
The Patriots continued to perform admirably well into the 2010s as they posted a 12-4 record in the next two seasons and made it to the AFC championship decider, which ended in a loss. The Patriots won 12 games again in 2014 and recorded the best AFC record en route to clinching a conference title and making their sixth appearance in the Super Bowl finals during the Belichick-Brady era. The team proceeded to clinch the Super Bowl, defeating Seattle Seahawks.
The Patriots clinched their 12th division championship in 13 years in 2015 and went on to lose to Denver Broncos in the AFC championship decider. The following year, the Patriots posted an NFL-best 14-2 record and breezed through the postseason on their way to another AFC title. In the 2017 Super Bowl, the Patriots recovered from a 25-point deficit in the third-quarter to beat Atlanta Falcons in extra time—the biggest ever comeback in the Super Bowl—to win their fifth title.
The Patriots posted a 13-3 record in 2017 to clinch another division championship on their way to a record 10th appearance in the Super Bowl final for the franchise. They went on to lose narrowly to Philadelphia Eagles, recording the most losses by an NFL team (5).
The Patriots juggernaut maintained its dominance the following year, easily clinching another division championship and being seeded second in the AFC postseason playoffs. Following a dominant win in the divisional stage, the Patriots edged a roller-coaster AFC title decider against Kansas City Chiefs and qualified for a third consecutive Super Bowl final, in which they beat Los Angeles Rams to win their sixth championship, drawing level with Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles. The Patriots stretched their NFL-record run of successive titles by winning their 11th consecutive AFC East championship in 2019, but they failed to get a first-round playoff bye for the first time in a decade and went on to lose their first playoff game.
Before the start of the 2020 season, New England Patriots announced that they were going to change their uniform. For their new home kit, they opted for their earlier NFL Color Rush all dark blue uniform, while their away uniform consisted of a white jersey and dark blue pants. Both kits had truncated shoulder striping in tribute to the iconic “Pat Patriot” kits.
Ex-Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was made the Patriots’ new starting quarterback before the 2020 season. Also, several veteran players like Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Dont’a Hightower, and Patrick Chung sat out the season due to COVID-19.
After Pittsburgh Steelers lost to Buffalo Bills in week 14, New England Patriots dropped out of the race for the AFC East title. In week 15, they also lost to the Dolphins and dropped out of contention for the playoffs. This was just the fourth time in 20 years that the Patriots failed to clinch the division and make it to the playoffs.
The 2021 season began with the Patriots recruiting 11 free agents the same day, including Jonnu Smith, Matthew Judon, Nelson Agholor, and Hunter Henry. On the last day of August 2021, the Patriots parted company with starting quarterback Cam Newton in the last preseason roster cuts. Therefore, Mac Jones took his place as the new Patriots’ starting quarterback.
Wrapping the History of New England Patriots
New England Patriots, aka the Patriots, is a professional American football club headquartered in Greater Boston. The team plays in the NFL as a representative of the NFL’s American Football Conference East Division and plays its home matches at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Formed as Boston Patriots in 1959, the team competed in the AFL (American Football League) before joining the National Football League following the merger between AFL and NFL in 1970. After moving to their new home in Foxborough, Massachusetts, in 1971, the team was rebranded New England Patriots.
The Patriots played the home games at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough from 1971 to 2002 when the home ground was demolished to pave the way for the inauguration of Gillette Stadium. The club started playing their home games at Gillette Stadium the same year.
New England Patriots won the most Super Bowl titles (6, tied with Pittsburgh Steelers) and suffered the most Super Bowl losses (5, level with Denver Broncos). Largely unsuccessful before the 2000s, the Patriots enjoyed a long era of dominance under quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick between 2001 and 2019.
Considered one of the greatest ever dynasties in sports, the Brady-Belichick era saw the Patriots claim almost every major record in Super Bowl history. The Patriots hold several other NFL records, including the most victories in a decade (126, between 2003 and 2012), the longest winning run of games in the regular season and playoffs (21, between October 2003 and October 2004), the most playoff victories (37), the most successful division championships (11, between 2009 and 2019), the most successful winning seasons (19, between 2001 and 2019), the highest winning percentage in the postseason (.638), and the only unbeaten regular-season record of 16-0 (2007).