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paok Thessaloniki

At first glance, you could be quite dismissive of PAOK’s emblem, largely due to the number of eagle bearing badges seen across the footballing world, but there’s a history here. It’s a memorial, a symbol of remembrance. The club was founded by greek refugees in 1926, fleeing from Constantinople in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War and the double-headed eagle is emblematic of this. It is a symbol of Byzantine heritage and subconsciously perhaps, the merging of two clubs, with AEK Thessaloniki being absorbed by PAOK in 1929. The closed wings represent a mournful variation of the Byzantine double-headed eagle, grieving the loss of a homeland, the loss of friends, family, culture and a way of life.

This crest has been in place since the 1929 merger replacing one featuring a four-leaf clover and horseshoe. PAOK were quick to abandon these good luck omens but the importance of history and culture surely outweigh symbols of fortune. The club's colours have always been, and always will be, black and white and there is meaning behind the monochrome. Black for sorrow, for the thousands of greek refugees forced to leave ancestral homes in Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, Pontus and in the Caucasus. Conversely, white symbolises hope. Hope for a new beginning and a new home. A nod to the past, with eyes on the future. The latest variation of the badge was made in 2013, Adding a golden outline as a symbol of the club's Byzantine heritage. Time has passed but the people and the club don’t forget their roots.

Luke Connelly

Image Credits By Source, Fair use,

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