With the Euros final approaching this Sunday, all eyes are on England as they prepare to face Spain. As we gear up for this monumental match, let's delve into the rich history behind the emblem proudly worn by the English football team. Dating back to 1863, the English FA's crest features three lions passant guardant — a symbol that speaks of strength and unity.

The crest is the official emblem of the English Football Association, which was founded in 1863. Ever since, the badge which features three lions, one on top of the other vertically, with roses dotted in between the gaps, has been the official badge since their first fixture, against Scotland in 1872.

The lions originate from the Norman conquests but weren't the emblem of the ruling dynastic house. The three lions grew from the union of the use of the lion symbol with King Henry I, Geoffrey Plantagenet and King Henry II all opting for a lion on their crests.

King Richard I would eventually combine the three lions as his official royal symbol, becoming the royal seal of the house Plantagenet in the 12th century under ‘Richard the Lion Heart' and have remained a Royal symbol to this day.

Technically the 'lions' are actually leopards! In Medieval heraldry (and this includes the lions on the England team shirt) lions that are lying down are called leopards, and ones rearing or rampant are called lions. This was because medieval heraldry didn't know that lions and leopards were different and used the terms to differentiate between the different images in heraldry.

"Three leopards on a shirt..." doesn’t work quite as well does it?

Here at KRIII we are backing Gareth Southgate's England to bring it home!

This blog was originally written in August 2023, updated June 2024