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Why Did Soccer's Real Madrid Remove the Cross From Its Logo?

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"small but deliberate change"

What's the difference between these two versions of the Real Madrid soccer team's logo?

The logo on the left is the typical one used by the massively popular Real Madrid soccer team. It is still the logo seen on the club's web site. The one on the right is the new, edited version that will be used to promote the new, billion dollar Real Madrid resort island being built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Did you notice that the small cross atop the crown was removed?

If you are not familiar with the soccer world, Real Madrid is on par with other globally-recognized professional sports franchises like the New York Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys. They are a brand with annual revenues over $500,000 million and an estimated net worth of almost $2 billion dollars.

The Real Madrid history is a rich one, dating back to 1902.

Real Madrid was founded in 1902, and it is the pride of all Los Madridistas. A Harvard University study on football determined that Madrid is also the most popular team in the world, with more than 228 million supporters.

Let's take a look at the different logos used by Real Madrid through the team's first 110 years.

There are anecdotal reports that claim the  1920-31 logo using the crown was approved by Spain's King Alfonso XIII back in 1920. It disappeared from the uniforms from 1931-1941. After the Spanish Civil War ended, the crown returned and has been present on the team's logos and uniforms for the past 71 years.

And then came the Real Madrid sports island/theme park.

Here's another look at the logo as it appears in the promotional materials for the island.

Yahoo Sports reports on the history of the crown (with the cross) on the team's uniforms.

The cross has only been a part of the club's crest because it was a part of King Alfonso XIII's crown, which was added to the crest in 1920 when he granted the club his royal patronage and their name changed from Madrid Club de Futbol to Real Madrid. All the royal symbols were then removed from the club's crest and name in 1931 when the monarchy was dissolved, though they were restored at the end of the Spanish civil war in 1941 and have remained since.

And so, the crown with the cross has been part of the team's logo for more than 70 years. So why should it be removed? Yahoo's Brook Peck referred to the removal of the cross as a "small, but deliberate change."

Deliberate? That's a good word for it. Some are pushing the change as "good business" while others say that it smacks of religious intolerance and censorship.

The cross remains on Real Madrid's logo everywhere else. It is only removed from the logos in the new theme park being built in the UAE. You have to wonder, is there a concern that a tiny cross atop the crown might keep non-Christians away from the park's amazing, waterfront stadium, gift shops, museum, hotel, and amusement park?

If you want to see what's being planned for the new Real Madrid Theme Park, watch the promo clip here.

 

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