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      04-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #1
atr_hugo
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The True Origins of the Roundel

Since I'm buying my first BMW, I decided I'd do a bunch of reading to try to get a handle on what BMW is and get a decent appreciation of the company's history. And I find I'm doing it in detail. ; -)

For some of you this story is old hat, but a lot of folks here are new to BMW and BMW lore. So here it is:

The story goes that the blue & white in the Roundel are based on an engineer's observation of a BMW engined plane's propeller spinning against a blue sky.

Turns out that story was invented in 1942 and was probably based on the use of the propeller spinnning with BMW wavering above it which appeared in a corporate publication dated from around 1929.

The real origins of the Roundel are from the company BMW morphed from, Rapp Motor Works. The Rapp logo was a Roundel with a black surround and a black stallion's head in the center. (Rapp can be construed to be a black horse in German, according to the article I read).

When BMW was created, in 1917, they kept the Roundel, replaced the Rapp in the surround with 'BMW' and placed the blue & white Bavarian national colors inside. There's the tie-in between Bavaria and the name of the company.

But the blue & white in the roundel are mirror images of the placement of the blue & white in the Bavarian coat of arms. Turns out there was a law against using national symbols in commercial logos.

So there you have it - an interesting bit of trivia that may enhance your standing within the world of BMW. (Or provoke a fight with someone convinced the spinning prop origin is the truth. ; -)
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      04-09-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
larryn
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In this thread there is a discrepancy in the origin of the roundel between two two BMW websites.
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      04-09-2008, 06:37 PM   #3
atr_hugo
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Yup - and those are corporate sites to boot! (Granted they're counnntry specific sites - not HQ.)
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      04-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #4
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I vote for the propellers - and it's a good excuse to say 'Fokker'...

:roundel:
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      04-09-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Here's the background story I used for the first post:
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File Type: pdf roundel-myth.pdf (257.5 KB, 91 views)
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