ICYMI: National Guard Ditches Iconic Minute Man, Gun Logo

Army National Guard recruiting materials will no longer feature the traditional armed Minute Man logo, opting for a more sedate branding. (Photos: National Guard Bureau)

Gone is the traditional flintlock rifle and armed citizen soldier, a move one publication chalked up in part to “no tolerance” policies on the display of images of firearms in schools.

The familiar National Guard Seal and Emblem has long featured a likeness of the famous Concord Minute Man statue in Concord, Massachusetts. The statue, first unveiled in 1875 by sculptor Daniel Chester French, symbolizes the local militia that stood to in an effort to halt the British Army’s 1775 seizure of arms and powder that sparked the Revolutionary War. The man, a farmer rather than a soldier, is holding a flintlock in his right hand while his left hand is still resting on a plow. The National Guard holds that its history predates the country, stemming from the Massachusetts Bay Colonial Militia which was founded in 1636.

The previous design, last approved by the Army in 1989, was used as far back as the 1950s in similar forms. However, it was recently phased out for most applications in favor of a new “brand identity” for all 54 States, Territories and the District of Columbia. The new logo, a gold star on a black background that simply says “Army National Guard,” was adopted according to the branch to more closely tie the service to the U.S. Army in the public’s mind in recruiting materials.

“Research shows that the public, and even active duty service members, are often unsure of the Army National Guard’s relationship to the U.S. Army,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Warren, branch chief of marketing for the National Guard Bureau’s Strength Maintenance Division. “The rebrand makes it clear that the Army National Guard is part of the Army.”

According to Small Wars Journal, a Bethesda, Maryland-based organ of the non-profit Small Wars Foundation, which analyses modern military conflict, the move stems from a “failure of the American Public Education system,” due to poor knowledge of the original symbol’s meaning.

“Furthermore, due to ‘no tolerance’ policies concerning the display of images of firearms in schools, the traditional Minuteman logo could not be displayed due to inclusion of an 18th-century flintlock rifle,” said Franklin C. Annis for SWJ. “Now the National Guard will be represented by a lackluster shield-shaped black logo with white and gold lettering.”

This article was syndicated from Guns.com Guns.com is a niche news web site that publishes original reporting on the wide range of topics within the gun world. We publish Monday through Saturday. Our approach is to explore the topic of guns through the widest lens possible, to deliver these findings as fairly and accurately as possible and to host the opinions and perspectives of our writers and readers as selflessly as possible, trying our best not to get in the way of our contributors. Our desire is to allow our writers and readers to tell their stories, no matter what the story is, as long as we believe a) it will benefit or interest gun owners and b) conforms to ethical journalistic methods and practices. Our headquarters are in Illinois but our contributors submit to us from across the United States — from Maine to California, from Texas to Alaska and every state in between.