Why do the Kansas City Chiefs wear the color red? What is the origin of their logo? (2024)

In a trip down memory lane, we’re exploring the history of one the league’s best-known teams and one that had a role in the merger, that occurred between the NFL and the AFL to bring us all the game we love so much today.

The history of the Kansas City Chiefs

Perhaps one of the more iconic in the entire NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs logo is the identifying symbol of Kansas City’s professional football team. The team, which is now based in Kansas City, was originally founded in the 1960s by Lamar Hunt. Interestingly, the team’s original idea for its name stemmed from its first location in Dallas, Texas. It was 1959 and Hunt was encountering difficulties in his efforts to secure a football license in the NFL. With that, he took the decision to establish his very own football league, the American Football League. With Hunt as president, the new league had eight teams when it began to play in the 1960s. The “Dallas Texans” was the name that Hunt selected for the franchise, in a clear nod to his hometown.

Taking that 🔥 logo a step further.

This is a Dallas Texans BASKETBALL uniform Clark & Dan Hunt are holding.

Lamar Hunt thought it was a great branding tactic for the Texans & a good way to keep players in shape by having them play offseason basketball. https://t.co/334wpMvlX6 pic.twitter.com/6xZKGMGnZL

— Gina Miller (@TheGinaMiller) February 9, 2023

Yet, fate would have other plans for Hunt and his team. In 1963, the Texans moved to Kansas City where they became the Chiefs. Though there was of course competition from the NFL, the Texans who were now Chiefs, became one of the premier football teams in the United States, attracting a multitude of fans from across the nation. Today that tradition has continued, with the Chiefs having won a number of Super Bowl titles in the modern era. Indeed, they are now one win away from yet another if they can manage to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday 12th, February. It’s worth noting, that Hunt is largely credited as being the architect behind the merging of the NFL and AFL later on.

How did the Kansas City Chiefs logo come to be?

As mentioned above, the Chiefs were once known as the Texans and with that, there was a completely different logo on the team’s jerseys. The original symbol of the team was a running gunslinger with a wide-brimmed hat, a pigskin football in one hand, and a gun in another. The gunslinger, wearing cowboy boots and a shirt that read “Texans” was super imposed on a map of the state of Texas. Needless to say, it was not suitable for the team when it became the Chiefs in 1963, which resulted in the symbol being replaced with a Native American.

The @Chiefs were founded by businessman Lamar Hunt in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. They swapped their logo from the State of Texas to the now-famous KC arrowhead when they moved to Kansas City, MO three years later. pic.twitter.com/cfDXXbWc9X

— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) February 7, 2023

At any rate, there were some similarities, which is to say the character was still running, there was a backdrop of a map of Texas and he held a pigskin football in one hand. In the other hand, however, he now held a small red axe, as opposed to a gun. There was also a change from the use of red to color the state of Texas, to a black and white outline of the image. Additionally, both red and yellow were used more dominantly in the logo, while the letters “KC” were placed on the loincloth of the running man. Where the thinking behind the logo is concerned, it’s understood that the image was meant to convey the vigor and determination of the team, while also promoting its agility and strength. It’s worth noting, that it was the first version of the team’s logo to feature the color palette that would be used going forward. Lastly, Texas’ map was replaced by one that depicted the states of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa.

The Chiefs logo in the modern era

As you’ve probably noticed by now, today’s logo is much more minimalistic in nature. When it debuted in 1972, not only had the running man been completely removed, but so too had many other details including the map. There was instead, a single shape and the letters “KC” once again at the forefront. Aside from the arrowhead at the center, there was now no reference in any way to the Native American heritage that formed the basis for the team’s name. Where the font for the letters is concerned, some has suggested that Hunt himself was the person who sketched them back in 1963, when he was trying to create the first images for what the Chiefs could look like.

JUST IN -- The family of the 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs who was smeared by Deadspin have filed a lawsuit.

"He did not wear a costume headdress because he was ‘taught hate at home.' He wore it because he loves the Chiefs and because he loves his Native American heritage." pic.twitter.com/VN7TIHim3R

— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 7, 2024

What about the colors of the Kansas City Chiefs?

Today, the Chiefs logo is as recognizable as the NFL’s itself. While the logo has gone through an evolution, the colors of red, yellow/gold, black and white have not. Indeed, though there has been no official word on why the specific colors were chosen, it’s worth noting that they have always remained the same, regardless of what cosmetic changes have been made to the logo itself. With that, we leave you but now that you’ve got the low down on where the Chiefs have come from, be sure to check out where they are going by having a look at how you can watch Sunday’s big game. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. Don’t miss it

Why do the Kansas City Chiefs wear the color red? What is the origin of their logo? (2024)
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