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Army West Point: A New Look

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The Black Knights have undergone a new athletic identity with new standards, new uniforms, and a new direction: forward.

Army West Point's new look aims to honor the past while looking forward to the future.
Army West Point's new look aims to honor the past while looking forward to the future.
Army West Point Athletics

"Reach into the future, yet never forget the past"

-General Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1903

These words were the core of the 18 month project that Army West Point and Nike unveiled on Monday, April 13th 2015. Honoring over 200 years of tradition and collaborating with players, coaches, and administrators, both present and former, the new identity standard will be used in all 28 Varsity programs and feature a color scheme with inspirations drawn from aspects of gunpowder, the current Army Combat Uniform, and the Long Gray Line. Previously, each team had their own fonts, color schemes, and layout. Now, they will be united.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In case you missed tonight&#39;s live show, we are still the Black Knights and will now don a new logo. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArmyWestPoint?src=hash">#ArmyWestPoint</a> <a href="http://t.co/cQJ8XVhDwQ">pic.twitter.com/cQJ8XVhDwQ</a></p>&mdash; ArmyWestPoint Sports (@GoArmyWestPoint) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoArmyWestPoint/status/587816310823718914">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Even the name change, from 'Army' to 'Army West Point', had significant meaning. Colonel Ty Seidule, Head of the Department of History, said that "Army has the mission...to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And West Point has the mission of creating soldiers and scholars to support the Army. And that's why I think it's so amazing, Army and West Point together. It's mixing these two elements of who we are in a way we have never done it before." The name 'Black Knights' will still be used as the official mascot for Army West Point.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>New Nike Uniforms For Army West Point Football <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArmyWestPoint?src=hash">#ArmyWestPoint</a> <a href="http://t.co/ovKiLE28A2">pic.twitter.com/ovKiLE28A2</a></p>&mdash; ArmyWestPoint Sports (@GoArmyWestPoint) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoArmyWestPoint/status/587796025156374529">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The new logo contains a shield, helmet, sword, and a star. The shield symbolizes the promise to defend the country. The helmet, in honor of Athena, goddess of wisdom, faces to the right, from the view of the person wearing the helmet, which is the side of greater honor. The plume has 13 sections to represent the 13 original colonies. The sword, although sheathed in the 1898 crest, is unsheathed and represents the scholar-warrior balance of the Academy as well as protection, righteousness, and justice. Lastly, the star represents the 50 stars on the flag as well as a connection to the vehicles in WWII who wore the lone star to signify their connection to the United States Armed Forces.

Unlike most rebranding projects schools undergo, this was more internal than external. With an acceptance rate of 9% and strict physical restrictions on accepted students, Army West Point is not trying to increase the student population, recruit better athletes, or expand it's brand. This move was about national pride and the unification of one of the country's most storied programs. This new look will be on full display September 4th as Army West Point hosts Fordham in the home opener.