Respect for others is one of the basic requirements of democratic life and the capacity to live in society. It affects the individual and has both a social and a collective dimension. Respect is a fundamental part of sport, for sport generates situations of tension that have to be resolved almost instantaneously. There is therefore a need, above rules and standards, for this value to be present in order to guarantee cordial and correct interrelations between people. In sport, respect is needed in similar situations to those where it is demanded in wider society, but the intensity of the moment implies that the presence or absence of respect can be very obvious and can affect the development of the situation or event.
There are many social models that avoid effort and advocate instead luck, opportunism and immediate triumph. However, effort is a value that can take us to unthinkable heights and lead us to achieve targets and objectives that may at other times appear distant or inaccessible. Dedication, rigour, constancy, sacrifice and perseverance all bear fruit, while luck and the search for a quick win are often fleeting and momentary. Note that at school, teachers have for a long time being promoting a culture of effort as the vehicle for academic development and personal achievement, and this helps to construct new social models.
Ambition is the desire to achieve the maximum performance and do things not only well but also as well as is feasibly possible and to improve every day. This value is applicable both to individuals and to groups. It involves use of a web of values as varied as excellence, patience, discipline, order, motivation and responsibility. Indeed, ambition invokes and requires a broad system of values and, in turn, is related with a job being done well, effort and rigour. Regarding targets, ambition is probably the surest way of achieving them, for it is the impulse to grow.
Teamwork implies that the subject forms part of a group and that, as a member of the same, becomes an active element that acts on behalf of the whole (sometimes even to the determine of their own individuality). There are undeniable benefits of knowing that you are part of a team and this requires the learning and accentuation of many other values.
Often when athletes, and people in general, achieve the goals they have set themselves, they start feeling superior in physical, moral, economic and other terms, and this leads them to forget certain values that have in all probability helped them to achieved those very goals: effort, perseverance, self-control, etc. We are all aware of how FC Barcelona has dealt with its victories of recent years, and how it has always shown humility (and also such values as effort, rigour, responsibility and others) to win respect in its field, and among its opponents, and generally everyone. Humility probably consists of knowing how to be clear about one’s values, and to maintain them and defend them even in situations where you are clearly superior and more successful.
Red and blue have featured on the Barça shirt for more than one hundred years and the Club is widely known as the ‘Blaugrana’ in reference to the names of these colours in the Catalan language. However, although the shirt has remained relatively constant in design over the years, the team shorts were white for the first ten years of club history, then switched to black, and were only blue from the 1920s onwards.
Aside from Barça identifying with the blaugrana colors, it is only natural to wonder if the colors were a conscious choice by the Club at some point during its history.
In the past there have been a multitude of theories surrounding how FC Barcelona came to acquire their famous colors but the Club itself now believes that there is one explanation that is the most plausible of them all. In this version of events, the decision came not long after the organisation’s foundation in November of 1899. On 13 December, during the second ever meeting of the board of directors, player and director Arthur Witty proposed to founder Joan Gamper that the colors of the club be maroon and blue. Witty’s choice was based on the fact that they were the same colours as the Merchant Taylors School rugby team in Liverpool whom he had represented in 1893 and 1894. Significantly, in April of 1899, months before the foundation of FC Barcelona , the Barcelona Lawn Tennis Club had been founded, which still exists under the name of the Reial Club de Tennis de Barcelona. The first president was the British Consul, Ernest F.C. Witty, Arthur’s father, and the Club’s badge also bore the colours maroon and blue.
As such, we can conclude that on 13 December, Joan Gamper saw no problem in the colours proposed by Arthur Witty, above all because they coincided with those of Basel, one of the football teams that Gamper had represented before moving to the city of Barcelona.
From the very moment Barça was founded, the club had its own emblem that the players proudly wore on their shirts. It was the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona, a diamond shape divided into four quarters, with a crown and a bat on top, and surrounded by two branches, one of a laurel tree and the other a palm. This, even at such an early stage, was a way of expressing the club’s link to the city in which it was born.
This badge remained unchanged until 1910. Shortly after Gamper had saved the club from serious crisis in 1908, a decision was made to give the club its own special crest. In 1910, the Club held a competition between all the members interested in presenting proposals. The winner was Carles Comamala, who played for the club between 1903 and 1912, and was a medical student at the time, as well as being a fine artist. And so, the crest that the club wears to this day was created, although there have been a few variations.
It is a bowl-shaped design, in which the two upper quarters maintain the St George Cross and the red and yellow bars of the original, which are the most representative symbols of Barcelona and Catalonia. The club initials FCB appear on a strip across the centre, and below are the Barça colours and a ball. So, what we have is a badge that honours the sporting dimension of the club as well as its connection to its city and country.
Since 1910, the changes made to the design have been minimal, generally just modifying the aesthetics and the patterns used for the outline. The biggest changes came about as a result of political obligations. When Franco came to power, the letters FCB were replaced by CFB, to reflect the way the club was forced to use the Spanish version of its name. The dictatorship also obliged the club to remove two of the four bars from one of the upper quarters, thus excluding the Catalan flag from the crest. On occasion of the club’s 50th anniversary in 1949, the four bars returned. The original letters were not recovered until late 1974, when the badge reverted to the original 1910 design.
The present crest is based on an adaptation made by designer Claret Serrahima in 2002, in which the lines are a little more stylised, the dots between the letters have been taken away, the name has been made smaller, and there are fewer pointed edges. The lines in this latest design are somewhat simpler, to make it easier for the crest and the club’s corporate identity to be reproduced in all the different formats.