What Is the History of the BMW Name and Brand?

By Product Expert | Posted in Brand Information, F.A.Q., Used BMW, Vehicle History on Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 at 7:26 pm
1917 BMW Logo, 1933 BMW Logo, 1953 BMW Logo, 1963 BMW Logo and 1997-Present BMW Logo on White Background with Year Over Each Logo

What Is the History of the BMW Logo and What Does it Mean?

Are you an automotive historian? Do you love to learn more about your favorite automotive brands? If you love the luxury and performance of the BMW brand – you have come to the right place at Autos of Dallas. Automotive connoisseurs who have fallen in love with the BMW brand and its storied history may want to know – what is the history of the BMW logo and what does it mean? Find out at Autos of Dallas!

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Is the BMW Brand Logo an Airplane Propeller?

For years, many drivers have been under the impression that the blue and white BMW roundel logo represents a white propeller on a sky blue field – a tribute to the brand’s history as an airplane engine manufacturer in the late 1920’s and into the 1940’s. This is a common misconception, though it is not without some elements of truth behind it. The BMW propeller logo myth comes from a 1929 ad that featured the BMW logo integrated into a rotating propeller. With a closer look at the history of the BMW brand and its logo, we can discover the true meaning behind the signature BMW roundel.

“Many people believe the BMW logo is a stylized propeller. But the truth is a little different.”

– Fred Jakobs Archive Director, BMW Group Classic

History of the BMW Brand and Logo

The BMW brand – the Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works – possesses a storied history that dates back to 1917 when it emerged from the aircraft engine company Rapp Motorenwerke. When the BMW brand started, it adopted the Rapp Motorenwerke roundel logo and infused elements of the Bavarian flag into its own logo that featured a black ring with the brand name around a central logo. At the time of the logo’s creation, German trademark laws prohibited the use of the Bavarian coat of arms and symbols in any commercial logos, so the new company inverted the colors to make the use of the Bavarian blue and white legal.

1929 BMW Ad with Blue and White Logo Integrated into Airplane Propellers


READ MORE: Which BMW Models Were Driven in James Bond 007 Films?

What is the history of the BMW logo and what does it mean? If you love the BMW brand like we do at Autos of Dallas, you will love this brief overview of the history of the BMW brand and its signature blue and white logo. Add the BMW logo to your life today when you visit the Autos of Dallas inventory and get behind the wheel of a pre-owned BMW 5 Series in Dallas-Fort Worth!