Behind the Badge: Origin of Ferrari’s Prancing Horse Logo
Many automobile logos incorporate animals, especially premium European brands who have been around for almost a century. One of the most recognizable–Ferrari’s prancing horse–may look like a simple design, but its has a thoughtful, historic significance behind it.
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What Was the Inspiration for the Ferrari Prancing Horse Emblem?
The prancing stallion (the cavallino rampante) actually came from Count Francesco Baracca, a renowned Italian air force pilot during World War I. His plane had that same design printed on its side. Baracca, considered a national hero by Italians, had nearly three dozen dogfight victories before being shot down on June 19, 1918.
A couple theories exist on why Baracca chose the horse.
- Because his squad was part of a cavalry regiment
- Because his noble family raised horses on their estate
- Because he stole the design from a German pilot’s plane that had the Stuttgart city emblem on it
Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1923 that Enzo Ferrari met Baracca’s mother and father, who asked Ferrari to use their son’s design on his cars for good luck.
The emblem’s yellow background symbolizes the color of Italian city Modena, Italy, where Enzo was born. The two letters accompanying the horse–S and F–stand for Scuderia Ferrari, the name of the brand’s racing division. Stripes on the top of the logo in red, white, and green represent the Italian national colors.
Love thinking about the automobile logos like Ferrari’s? Check out the rest of our Behind the Badge series examining fascinating automotive logos!
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