The Philadelphia Eagles helmet has essentially remained unchanged since the 1950s other than the color scheme. The eagle wings have been a staple with the team since 1955 and has since become one of the more iconic logos in both the NFL and in sports, much like their divisional rivals, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
Despite the unchanging logo, the Eagles’ helmet has changed in color multiple times, as I implied earlier. Let’s take a deeper look into the iconic, yet ever changing helmet of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles had two different helmets prior to 1955 with the first memorable one coming into existence in 1948. This helmet consisted of a kelly green and silver shell, with kelly green taking over the sides while the silver took over the helmet’s crown. This helmet lasted until 1949, the year the Eagles won the NFL Championship.
From 1950 to 1954, the silver portion of the shell was abandoned in favor of kelly green, giving the Eagles a single color. Both helmets can be viewed here at Sportslogos.net.
The Eagles were the second NFL team to adopt a helmet logo, next to the Los Angeles Rams. In 1955, the Eagle wings first appeared on the helmet. The shell remained kelly green and the wings were silver with no outline.
In 1969, the team again abandoned the silver, this time in favor of changing the eagle wings to white, again with no outline.
At the time, the NFL did not prohibit the use of multiple helmets, so the Eagles adopted and wore a second helmet, which consisted of a white shell and kelly green wings.
In 1970, the Eagles dropped the kelly green shell and wore the white helmets exclusively before adding a black outline to the wings in 1973.
In 1974, the Eagles again made a switch, this one lasting for 25 seasons and has since become the Eagles’ primary classic helmet.
Starting that season, the Eagles reverted back to a kelly green shell and silver wings, similar to their 1955-1968 helmets, but this time a white outline accompanied the wings.
Some greater Eagles teams of the age wore this look and it’s something Eagle fans have lobbied the team to return to. The Eagles did answer the call in 2010 and wore this look as an alternate, complete with kelly green jerseys, until the NFL banned the use of multiple-colored helmets, forcing the Eagles to again retire the look.
The Eagles radically redesigned their helmets, but kept the familiar logo intact. The new helmets consisted of midnight green and featured a black facemask. The eagle wings are now two-toned, with the top half being white and the lower half, silver. A black outline accompanies the wings as well, giving the Eagles a combo of their classic look along with what was updated coloring at the time when teams across all professional sports leagues switched to darker shades.
While I loved the look when I was young, I’ve become a purist in many ways and would love to see a return of the kelly green on an exclusive basis. The midnight green with added black was a great move in the 1990s and early 2000s as many teams did this, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Denver Broncos.
It was a trend, but these days the Lions, Rams, 49ers, Bills, and Jaguars have since reverted to simpler and more classic looks while the Broncos switched to wearing their lighter, orange jerseys full-time when at home. The new trend is now the old trend and a return to original colors.
While some teams remain dark, as the years go by, many are answering fans’ demands and reverting back to the days of old. If the Eagles did this, it would be a blessing, as the dark colors have overstayed their welcome.