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Cadillac Crest Emblems Through History

02/15/2023 11:31 AM | Anonymous

A timeline of the Cadillac crest, from its French roots to the modern symbol.

1902-1904 Cadillac name in cursive

1905 Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac's coat of arms adopted in circular badge

1906-1931 Various slight variations of the Cadillac coat of arms in a circular badge, with an exception in 1926 where the exterior was a shield

1932-1942 Circular badge replaced with wings sprouting from the coat of arms, with exceptions in 1936 and 1937, where the badge's shape was triangular and circular, respectively

1943-1944 Wartime badge as Cadillac factories switched entirely to wartime production

1945 Victory badge as war ends, flag bearing the words "Army" and "Navy" waving in front of the Cadillac coat of arms

1946-1969 Cadillac coat of arms over a heavily stylized "V-wing"; coat of arms gets progressively wider as decades go on, with an exception in 1947 with more traditional wings

1970-1972 Wings dropped; Cadillac coat of arms retained without badge border

1973-1994 Cadillac coat of arms now surrounded by laurels

1995-1999 Cadillac coat of arms with laurels once again in circular badge

2000-2013 Merlettes removed from Cadillac coat of arms; laurels remain without circular badge

2014-2020 Cadillac coat of arms without merlettes

2021-2024 Monochrome Cadillac coat of arms

Cadillac's emblem is directly based on the coat of arms of Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, the colorful and imaginative French founder of Detroit. Thus the iconography comes from a tradition of European heraldry during the age of exploration and colonization of the New World.

Each element of the Cadillac crest has a different meaning, according to Cadillac. The original logo, introduced in 1905, had a number of elements that aren't present on the original: the coronet studded with pearls and the merlettes.  The main part, the shield, is a combination of the symbols of two noble houses (neither of which Antoine Laumet, Cadillac's real name, may have held any real claim to). Cadillac's own history of the crest notes that several elements indicate various positive qualities, such as purity, charity, virtue, and knightly valor, as well as honorable service by ancestors of the families involved during the Crusades.