Wales Rugby League intend to change the badge on our playing shirts from the three feathers to the Wales Rugby League logo that you see on your training kit and our social media accounts.
The Wales Rugby League logo now in use was redesigned in 2017. It incorporates the Welsh dragon, and the red, white and green that is synonymous with our country. The chevrons are linked to the history of rugby league.
The logo is used on social media accounts, training kit, merchandise and stationary. The only place it is not currently used is our playing shirts. This document is to give the rationale behind a change from the three feathers to the Wales Rugby League logo, so you can make an informed decision.
The emblem of three white ostrich feathers behind a gold coronet actually represents an English figure, not a Welsh one. Since the beginning of the 17th century the badge has been exclusively associated with the Prince of Wales, yet has no connection at all with the last native prince of Wales, Owain Glyndŵr, who died around the year 1415.
The badge is technically the badge of the Duke of Cornwall, or Heir Apparent, as it will apply before any prince has been invested officially as Prince of Wales.
It has, however, come to be regarded as representative of Wales, and not just the prince, and can be seen on thousands of Welsh products, from mugs, scarves and rugby shirts to business logos and stationery – and tattoos. It also represents Welsh regiments of the British Army.
In the 1990s, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) modified the form of the badge they used to copyright the design. The new logo is more stylised, with “WRU” in place of “Ich dien”, German for “I serve”, which traditionally is written below the feathers on the coronet.
The continued use of the three feathers by the WRU prompted a petition, which attracted thousands of signatures, calling on the WRU to change the crest to a dragon, instead of three feathers.
In sporting terms, the Welsh public see the three feathers as Wales Rugby Union. Whilst we have had many players begin by playing union or switched between the codes, from a brand perspective we believe we need our own identity that is clearly distinguishable from the WRU and other sporting brands in Wales.
The World Cup is the sport’s biggest stage, with most eyes on the games themselves as they are broadcast around the world. By having the Wales Rugby League logo on the shirts as opposed to the feathers, it brings together all our branding which makes it easier to understand for viewers. This will include potential new sponsors and players. Key to a brand is consistency, and the lack of the logo on our most visible piece of merchandise is inconsistent with everything else linked with Wales Rugby League.
What about after the World Cup?
We propose to stop using the three feathers. The current shirt has them within the shirt design itself, and should there be an appetite from players and other stakeholders for that to continue, the feathers can be incorporated to shirt designs again in the future. One such example could be on the back of the shirt, underneath the collar.
Consistency is integral to a successful brand. To deliver a clear, consistent message to those old and new and support a strong Wales Rugby League now and into the future, we believe this is the right thing to do.
If you have any feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by midday this Friday 1 July. Thanks.