Emblematically Speaking - Carlisle City

Tue 12th December 2017 | Carlisle City
By Stewart Taylor

Carlisle City FC

This week we look at another football club emblem which has its roots in the place it represents but modified somewhat to better reflect exactly what the emblem refers to.

Following the formation of Carlisle City FC in 1975 the club adopted the City of Carlisle Coat of Arms rather than having its own emblem. This remained the position until 2015.

At that point, discussions amongst the club's Management Committee, and to mark the clubs 40 Year Anniversary, it was agreed that a Club emblem should be created to give the club its own unique identity, as the City of Carlisle Coat of Arms is widely used by many clubs and groups throughout the City.

Various ideas were put together by a local designer, and these were then put to a vote amongst the members of the club. The decision was pretty much unanimous in favour of the current emblem and this was adopted for the start of the 2015/16 season.

The club emblem still contains the City of Carlisle Coat of Arms but this has been joined by the two C’s, representing the club name in graphical form, in the clubs Sky Blue colour surrounding it, the year the club was established and the motto ‘Pro Amore Ludum’ which translates from Latin as ‘for the love of the game’.

Carlisle is an historic city, having seen good times and troubled times over many centuries being, as it is, on the border between England and Scotland. This is referenced in the City Coat of Arms by the depiction, above the arms, of a distinctive mural crown representing the castle. The gateway denotes the geographical location of the city, close to the English/Scottish border.

On the shield we see a red patonce cross on gold with a gold rose in the centre and four red roses. The meaning of the red roses can be readily determined as showing the city's Lancastrian sympathies.

The descriptor “patonce” as it relates to a cross means that the cross has expanded ends. Its presence here comes from the Coat of Arms of Sir William de Carlyell (de Carlyle) who was a significant landowner in the 13th and 14th centuries with tracts of land in both Scotland and England.

In addition to being landowners the de Carlyle family became involved through marriage in border disputes between England and Scotland.

The link comes from the marriage of Sir William to Margaret Bruce and, hence, a link to the famous Scottish warrior Robert the Bruce (King Robert I of Scotland) who led Scotland in the First War of Scottish Independence against England, which lasted from 1296 to 1328. This included the famous Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. We may say that echoes of this struggle continue to the present day.

Sir William and Margaret had two sons of their own, one of whom was named Robert Carlyle, although any reference to the well known actor of that name is probably coincidental.

The gold rose in the centre of the cross is the badge of King Edward I (1239 – 1307). Edward, also known as Edward Longshanks and The Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 until his death in 1307. During much of his time as monarch, Edward was engaged in rebellions in both Wales and, of relevance to this story, Scotland.

This device of a gold rose appears again in the City Coat of Arms of the supporters. These supporters are wyverns and we have come across these mythical creatures before as their presence as supporters in Coats of Arms is quite frequent.

In summary, we have a recently designed club emblem which certainly looks the part and gives a due reflection on the history of the place the club represents.

With thanks to Martin Denovellis of Carlisle City FC for his help in compiling this article.

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