Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Raiders & Buccaneers - Oakland and Tampa Bay, part 2

Heraldry & Vexillology in the NFL

Official Logo -Heraldic Shield
Oakland, Raiders

Raiders and Buccaneers are men and a few women from an enchanted era - the pirate era. The emblems of these two teams unite Pirates of the Caribbean with Pirates of the Pacific North West. (Goonies & Johnny Depp)

Official Logo - Flag
Tampa Bay, Buccaneers

Coincidentally out of all the NFL logos the Oakland, Raiders and Tampa Bay, Buccaneers are paramount examples of Heraldry and Vexillology. The Raiders shield is a Swiss design, in heraldic terms this shape is known as a Swiss Escutcheon. The logo of the Raiders is a flag... aka a Jolly Roger.

Oakland Raider Flag
take away the football helmet and its a pirate flag

Both teams employ swords on their flags. On the Raiders totem there are two swords pointing downwards behind the football player's head. Conversely Tampa Bay's two swords are pointing upwards. Tampa also has a third sword acting as the flag pole pointing upwards. You can only see the bottom part and handle but the upper part of the sword can been inferred under the red pirate flag. In reality this would be a bad idea - unless it were a really dull sword - but in that case it adds an element of boldness.
Tampa Bay Flag
with a Flag Logo on it

Both logos also incorporate football designs. There is an orange football in the 'compartment' of the Tampa Bay, Buccaneers. While there is a silver football helmet with a black stripe in the 'crest' of the Oakland Raider. If you take away the football and helmet - they would be simple pirate symbols.

The skull of Tampa Bay is in balance to the one eyed football player with an eye patch - iconic images related to piracy.

In NFL history, there was once a Super 'Pirate' Bowl - in 2003. It was a cosmic alignment of two pirate teams - one from the Atlantic Seas the other from the Pacific Seas.


The younger team from the oldest state dressed in red would take the trophy in 2003 - Super Bowl XXXVII. However the Raiders had already laid claim to victories in 1976, 1980, and 1984.

Link to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Link to Oakland Raiders

Link to Part 3 - What matches with a Bronco?

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