NHL logo rankings No. 19: Calgary Flames

We continue our countdown of all 30 NHL logos with the Calgary Flames at No. 19. Transplanted from Atlanta, the spirit of the Flames look hasn’t changed much over the years. The letter has changed and black was introduced, but it still has close ties to its Atlanta roots.

Another Canadian team bites the dust. At No. 19 in our NHL logo rankings come the Calgary Flames, a team transplanted from Atlanta in 1980. Starting from the bottom, we’re 12 logos into this process and five Canadian teams have already appeared. Not only does the biggest hockey nation struggle to put playoff teams on the ice, it appears they struggle with logos, as well. Edmonton and Montreal remain. And judging by some of the comments at the bottom of previous logo posts, a lot of you would have liked to see the Flaming C of Calgary even lower in our rankings than 19. But, there are some people who love the red and yellow combination and the simplicity of the look. Where do you stand? Think you can improve Calgary’s look? Here’s your chance. Come up with a new logo for the Calgary Flames, send your work to and we’ll share our favorite redesigns at the conclusion of our rankings. And if you had fun with this one, try your hand at
redesigning the other NHL logos, too. All logos from
Chris Creamer’s website.
HISTORY OF THE FLAMES LOGO The Flames started, of course, in Atlanta for the 1972-73 season as the NHL expanded to fight off the rival World Hockey Association. Atlanta joined the league at the same time as the New York Islanders and, well, didn’t have quite the same success. The team nickname originated from the burning of Atlanta during the American Civil War and only lasted eight seasons in the American south. Citing heavy financial losses, team owner Tom Cousins sold the team to a Calgary group led by Nelson Skalbania, who once signed Wayne Gretzky with the Indianapolis Racers and then traded him to Edmonton just three years before landing the Calgary franchise. The red and white A’s with a yellow border is a classic look and, in a way, still appears on the Calgary sweater for its assistant captains.
Atlanta Flames

After the move to Calgary, the ownership group decided to keep the Flames name, which was still a pretty good fit for a team from oil-rich Alberta. Obviously, the “A” from Atlanta was changed to a “C” for Calgary, but the color scheme and spirit of the logo stayed the same.
Calgary Flames In the mid-90s, black jerseys and logos became a fad because they’re supposedly intimidating, or something. During this time, the Flames added a black outline to their long-time logo and it got really bad when they decided to do something
quirky with the band along the bottom of their jersey. But these rankings aren’t about jerseys – we just judged the primary logos themselves. To this day, the Flames use the black outline on their logo, but their
throwback alternates get rid of it. And you know what? That just looks better, as throwbacks usually do.
calgaryflames2 Speaking of black jerseys and logos, the Flames home look is one of the biggest changes made to Calgary’s primary logo. Where they used to use a white “C” on their red jerseys, today they use a black “C” that fits better with the increased use of the color on the jersey. Some think black is an overused color in professional sports these days – what say you, Flames fans? No matter what, it’s at least miles better than the awful
horse head alternate.
Dissenting opinion: “Sometimes simplicity deserves love. The Flames logo keeps a tie to their Atlanta origins, but more than that, yellow is a stand out color not used too much in professional sports. I couldn’t see it as a top 10 logo (and I’m not a fan of the increased use of black), but the unique color scheme and clean look deserve a nod.”
– Rory Boylen

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Think you can do a better job coming up with a logo for the Flames? Get those creative juices flowing and send your art work to At the conclusion of our logo rankings, we’ll share our favorite reader redesigns. Which Flames logo do you like the most?


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