Behind the Badge: Exploring the Theories Behind Lincoln’s Star Logo
Discovering the mysterious origin of the Lincoln emblem
Few automotive logos carry the legacy of luxury and prestige more than the Lincoln emblem. For decades, the premium automaker has presented its star-like logo as a symbol of its premium class. Even after half a century, Lincoln’s cross-sectional rectangle stands out among dozens of other badges on the road.
But where did it come from and what does it mean? Many theories exist, but is there an answer?
History of the Lincoln Company
The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by engineer Henry M. Leland after he co-founded–and consequently departed from–Cadillac. He formed Lincoln during World War I to build Liberty aircraft engines until the war ended and the assembly plants began producing automobiles. After falling on tough economic times in the early 1920s, Lincoln was bought by the Ford Motor Company and retooled as Ford’s luxury line.
Leland named the Lincoln company after his hero Abraham Lincoln, whom he voted for in the 1860 presidential election. The name was an appropriate choice considering the brand became known for providing limousines for US Presidents.
Origin of the Lincoln Logo
Over the years, many theories on the origin of Lincoln’s emblem have developed. On one hand, people assert it’s a compass with hands directed to the four corners of the earth. This showed the brand’s intent to spread its vehicles across the world. Others assert the emblem, often called the Lincoln Star, is a celestial body that reflects the brand’s opulence and radiance. Still others claim the badge has no real meaning behind it.
So which is the truth?
The most accepted explanation of the Lincoln logo is that it’s based on the Continental star, which was adapted as Lincoln’s emblem in the 1950s when the Lincoln and Continental lines merged. However, the other predominant theory is that it’s based on the coat of arms emblem used by the brand in the 1930s, which involved a red cross in the center of a shield.
Regardless of the origin of Lincoln’s emblem, the iconic four-point star has become synonymous with the luxury and prestige of the brand over the years.
Enjoy learning about the Lincoln logo? Check out the rest of The News Wheel’s “Behind the Badge” series to learn about other auto brands!
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- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.