New Nike sportswear logo looks a lot like old Naval Academy seal

Danielle Ohl
Contact Reporterdohl@capgaznews.com

Nike and Undefeated, a Los Angeles-based sneaker boutique, released the logo for their new collaborative soccer apparel.

It looks an awful lot like the Naval Academy coat of arms.

The official Undefeated Twitter account tweeted out a picture of the logo for “The Fives” apparel line Monday — it features a shield with five tally marks flanked by columns. The shield is surrounded by a scroll reading “Respect All,” “Fear None,” “The Fives,” and “Los Angeles.”

A hand extends above the tallies to clutch a trophy adorned with a Nike logo and another scroll reading “MMII,” or 2002, the year Undefeated was established.

The Naval Academy coat of arms, adopted in 1899, features, well, a shield, flanked by columns, surrounded by a scroll, with a hand extending from the top and clutching a trident. The Academy seal has an approaching ship and open book instead of tallies, the aforementioned trident instead of a trophy and the scrolls read “Naval Academy,” “U.S.” “Ex scientia tridens,” meaning “from knowledge, seapower.”

So, not exactly the same but pretty close.

“Our legal department is looking into this and we don't have any additional info at this time, but we certainly noticed the similarities, too,” wrote Naval Academy spokeswoman Jenny Erickson. The Naval Academy owns the trademark on the seal.

A representative for Under Armour, the top Nike competitor and apparel provider for Naval Academy sports teams, said their legal team is reviewing the use, but deferred to the academy, as the seal is not an Under Armour trademark.

Park Benjamin, Naval Academy Class of 1867, designed the seal for the academy when he realized the institution did not have one. The Navy Department adopted it for the opening of a new University Club in New York City.

The seal features prominently on the Naval Academy campus — it’s on the Naval Academy flag, in the chapel stained glass window, embedded in architecture across the campus and on every class ring since 1906.

A promotional video for “The Fives” line shows the Undefeated logo on jerseys. The line will launch exclusively at a pop-up event in Los Angeles on Sunday.

People took to Twitter to voice their displeasure about the similarity, in one case calling it “stolen valor.”

The Undefeated website was down for maintenance Tuesday and as of Wednesday morning does not feature the line for sale. Several Twitter users tweeted their online orders were canceled. Nike and Undefeated did not respond to request for comment.

twitter.com/dtohl

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