The Legend Behind the Badge: Lazio
When thinking of this legendary badge, the first image that comes to mind is that of a majestic eagle since in its 120-year history, and almost in all the twenty logos they have used so far, Societa Sportiva Lazio–known as Lazio—has had an illustrated eagle. The golden eagle has made …
When thinking of this legendary badge, the first image that comes to mind is that of a majestic eagle since in its 120-year history, and almost in all the twenty logos they have used so far, Societa Sportiva Lazio–known as Lazio—has had an illustrated eagle. The golden eagle has made for a memorable badge, but also, has created associations with Fascism. For the record, Lazio is not associated in any way to the National Fascist Party or Mussolini. The club was founded in 1900 and the eagle first appeared in 1912, almost 10 years before fascism took over Italy. Furthermore, in 1927, Lazio was the only major Roman club which resisted the Fascist regime’s attempts to merge all the city’s teams into what would become A.S. Roma the same year.
Where do the name and colors come from? In 1900, when Lazio was founded in Piazza della Liberta, Rome by athlete Luigi Bigiarelli, his brother Giacomo, and 7 others, they named it after Latium, the area where Aeneas, the founder of Rome, landed from Troy. The original name was Società Podistica Lazio until 1925 when the club changed it to Societa Sportiva Lazio. The colors were chosen for their relationship to Olympic sports, the sky blue (biancoceleste) was inspired by Greece, the home of the first modern Olympics.
There are two versions on the provenance of the eagle. One argues that the eagle is the legacy of Roman symbolism. During the Roman Empire, the most valiant legions took the image of a golden eagle as the symbol. It refers to power and strength. Another version accounts that the eagle was chosen by founding member Luigi Bigiarelli as an acknowledgment to the emblem of Zeus (the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology) commonly known as the Aquila. The bird was depicted in the first versions of the badge, then it was removed and added several times. In 1958, the golden eagle was finally established in the Lazio badge. Olympia, the eagle, is female, her name is directly tied to the roots of the club.