The Truth Behind the Origin of the BMW Logo

The Truth Behind the Origin of the BMW Logo

Back in January of this year, a story in the New York Times debunked the myth that the famous BMW roundel logo developed from ’spinning propeller.’ This is a commonly held misperception even though the fact is the origin of the blue and white checker in has nothing to do with a propeller. BMW historians have actually been trying to correct the record for quite a while, as shown in a 2005 article by Dr. Florian Triebel, printed in their BMW Mobile Tradition publication.

The truth is, it was created from the national colors of Bavaria, blue and white, which is, of course, part of the name of the company. The BMW company was originally formed from Rapp Motor Works, and to see their logo, one can understand how the BMW roundel evolved. They reused the roundel, inserting a mirrored image of the Bavarian national colors, into the center.

The propeller myth turns out to have been the result of artwork from a technical publication of the late 1920s that provided servicing information for BMW aero engines.

Today, BMW releases an official video explaining the origin of the roundel and sets the record straight and clears any misconceptions.

2 Responses to The Truth Behind the Origin of the BMW Logo

  1. The video doesn’t explain why the Bavarian colors are arranged in the suspicious manner (like a spinning propeller) they are. I remain unconvinced. The BMW historian makes a huge leap that because the Rapp logo was round the BMW logo looks like it does. There were so many other decisions made and changes made at the time, I’d like more of an explanation.

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