The Importance of History

According to the National Post, the logo for BoltBus, a recently-founded Greyhound subsidiary, has caused a bit of a stir, because it is a little too reminiscent of the insigne of the Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists. From Wikipedia, the respective designs:



It’s not quite the same (different shade of blue, and the bolt is slightly different), but it goes to show that you should probably pay attention to these things. But as the article says:

BoltBus has likely steered clear of any fascist associations for the simple fact that they are a bus company—a sector that traditionally has very little in common with far-right politics.

“If this was, say, the logo for the British Columbia Bolt of Truth Party, then I think the danger of making the connection is stronger,” he said.

And indeed, the logo does not seem to have hurt BoltBus’ fortunes.

Launched just before the 2008 financial crisis, BoltBus has gradually expanded its reach across the U.S. and Canada, and has presided over a decisive turnaround in North American bus ridership.

“We felt the lightning bolt as a logo fit the name of the brand,” wrote Gipson.

Lightning is a “quick burst of energy,” she said, and BoltBus is a “quick, energetic and fun mode of transportation.”

As for the fascist connotations, in eight years the similarities have only been noticed by the occasional history or design blogger. Said Gipson, “we have heard from only a few about the logo’s resemblance.”

Entirely by accident, it seems, BoltBus has joined a small but growing movement to reclaim other “stolen” symbols of 20th century fascism.

Very interesting. I don’t think that we’re quite ready to “reclaim” the swastika, however! That one has been ruined for some time to come…