Once the Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg was confirmed, the club’s current owners, True North Sports & Entertainment opted to revive the name of the departed WHA/NHL Jets, but instead chose a new logo for the team, one they boasted,”was developed in partnership with Reebok and the NHL, was inspired by the logo of the Royal Canadian Air Force.” The Guardian’s Colin Horgan delves into a Canadian Press report that outlines the Jets’ written agreement with the nation’s defense department over how the logo can be used, the most eye-catching passage being the following ; “the club agrees to use the Winnipeg Jets logos solely in accordance with the terms and conditions of this agreement and in such a manner as to protect and preserve the reputation and integrity of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.”
According to the story, nobody from either the Jets organization or national defence was available for comment, but it certainly raises some questions – namely about specifics: what exactly will ensure protection of the integrity of the Queen? That could mean all kinds of things, and it seems odd that an NHL franchise would ever be expected to worry about upholding the image of a reigning monarch. Just play hockey.
It’s doubtful that it will actually affect the team in too many ways, but from a fan standpoint, it certainly makes you wonder what exactly it is you’re supporting when you don a jersey. Given the recent push by Canada’s Conservative government to reintroduce the ‘Royal’ designation back to the Army and Navy, and the fervor with which it lauded two recent Royal visits, this Jets logo tips dangerously from the realm of sports into the world of ideological politics.