Well, where to begin with this mythological menagerie? Perhaps beginning with the only truly earth-bound of the trio is most appropriate. The elephant. Long has this been a symbol for Coventry, part of the coat of arms when the city officially received its royal charter in the 14th Century., it’s thought to represent St. George (the elephant being the mortal enemy of dragons (obviously) of which St. George was deeply fond of slaying (apparently), evidenced further by the red cross adorning it’s flank. Speaking of flanks, either side of the elephant sit a griffin and phoenix, each adding a mythological flavour to the plate. Again, loaned from the city coat of arms, left sits the Eagle of Leofric - medieval Earl of Mercia, founder of the monastery of Coventry and husband of Lady Godiva. It’s a symbol for the ancient Coventry.
The Phoenix rising from the flames represents a new modern Coventry, rejuvenated from the ashes, granted to the city in 1959. Strikingly, perhaps, the club sits between these, a balancing act between a glorified past, turbulent present and an unpresent future. Regardless, it’s a formidable trio. Atop the elephant sits Coventry, in a sort of Terry Pratchett-esque Discworld affair, a bizarre balancing act. It’s one of British football’s most memorable and striking badges. Ornate and steeped in history. Hat’s off to the two-tone town.
Image Credits: Creative commons, Coventry City FC club crest, Ben Sutherland https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/7127683477