The School Crest and Colors

In 1895, St. Ignatius Chicago used the coat of arms from the House of Loyola to create a college button to commemorate its Silver Jubilee. In the years that followed, other Jesuit schools across the country began using the Loyola crest in their school insignias. SI’s crest, designed by George Lyle ’09 in 1909, includes the figures of two gray wolves on each side of a large kettle suspended by black pot hooks. The symbol is word play, in that the wolves (lobo) combine with the kettle (olla) in Spanish to form lobo y olla (the wolf and the pot), which, “contracted into Loyola.” But the house of Loyola was also known by both the paternal and maternal family names of Oñaz y Loyola, and the crest of the house of Oñaz included seven red bars on a field of gold to honor seven heroes of that family who fought at the Battle of Beotibar in 1321. The kettle also commemorates the House of Loyola’s reputation for generosity, as, according to family lore, the family supplied their soldiers with so much food “that the wolves always found something in the kettle to feast on after the soldiers were supplied.”14

Around 1909, SI adopted red and blue for its school colors. The first issue of The Ignatian carried the new crest in red and blue on its cover, and all of the large, ornate, gold plate with cloisonné overlay award medals, given annually to students in the early 20th century, used the red and blue color motif as did the school rings. By the 1920s, the college adopted green and gold for its school colors, while the high school retained red and blue.

Read even more about the meaning of the SI crest here.