PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — What better way to honor this 4th of July holiday than by taking a look at some of the most patriotic names in sports? We have a couple teams right here in Philly that have made it a priority to use their moniker to pay homage to the country.
There are also quite a few all over the nation that have made that same decision. Here is a list of the top ten most patriotic names in sports.
10. Washington Capitals: The Capitals boast one of the top names in sports in terms of making perfect sense. Washington D.C. has served as the nation’s capital since 1791 and the team pays tribute to that long patriotic legacy in their name. The Capitals drive the theme home with their red, white and blue color scheme and their patriotic eagle logo.
9. New York Yankees: There does not appear to be a definitive story behind why the name Yankees was chosen, but it obviously has a context that draws back to the Civil War. Some say the name draws on the fact that a Yankee was seen as a Northerner and the Yankees played north of their opponents, the New York Giants, when both franchises occupied the city.
8. Washington Nationals: There’s no surprise that another Washington team cracked the list. Their red, white and blue color scheme and the stars incorporated into their logo make them an obvious choice. The Nationals gained their name after owners originally wanted to call them the Senators, but backed down due to political interests. With all that aside, the team wound up with a patriotic name nonetheless.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: So yes, the bald Eagle is one of the most patriotic symbols of our nation, but there are a few reasons why the Eagles appear kind of low on this list. One, they do not have a patriotic themed color scheme and two, there is some ambiguity in terms of what the name actually means. The Eagles name came about in 1933 around the time of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Businessmen who were a part of the deal and the National Recovery Act used a blue eagle as their symbol. The Eagles owner at the time was Bert Bell who supported the New Deal. The Eagles wore blue and yellow for years before switching to green.
6. Charlotte Hornets: So on the surface there may seem to be nothing all that patriotic about the Hornets, but there is actually quite the story behind their name. During the Revolutionary War, British General Charles Cornwallis referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets,” after losing the Battle of Charlotte in 1780. There may be other patriotic names that are more obvious than the Hornets, but nothing quite as original.
5. New England Patriots: The Patriots team name draws on the historical context of the city of Boston. Formerly known as the Boston Patriots, the team draws on the city’s connection to the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere and the end of British occupation.
4. New York Liberty: How can you leave out a team that pays homage to “Lady Liberty?” You don’t. While the Liberty may not have quite the same fan base of some of the other teams on the list, they are still quite the patriotic bunch. You can’t beat the team’s Statue of Liberty logo with a basketball sitting atop her torch.
3. Philadelphia Freedoms: The 4th of July is all about America’s independence and the Philadelphia Freedoms Tennis Team hits the nail on the head with their name. The World Team Tennis team was led by Billie Jean King during the group’s inaugural season in 1974. King’s friend at the time, Elton John, wrote the song, “Philadelphia Freedom,” that year as he was inspired by King.
2. Philadelphia Union: The Philadelphia Union also chose to take a patriotic approach to their name. Union is derived from the union between the 13 original colonies of which Philadelphia served as the capital. There is also quite a bit of patriotism in their uniforms. The navy blue and gold represent the primary colors worn by the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. The logo also features 13 stars for the colonies and the snake honors Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Join or Die,” political cartoon.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Last but not least, we have the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers clearly have one of the most full on patriotic names there is. The 76 refers to the year our nation signed the Declaration of Independence and the reason we celebrate today. The team has primarily stuck to a red, white and blue color scheme since becoming the 76ers, with the exception of the black and gold colors added during the Allen Iverson era. The team has since returned to their patriotic roots and wear red, white and blue as their primary colors. In addition to the colors, the team logo also features a circular set of 13 stars to honor the colonies which appeared on the original flag.
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