65 years ago today – on 4 April 1949 – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded. Over the next 40 years, this intergovernmental military alliance between the Western powers would at times contain and exacerbate the Cold War.
At the entrance to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels stands a large, savage-looking sculpture in cast iron. This sculptural rendition of NATO’s logo is a familiar sight in the Belgian capital but its origins and creator appear have become unknown.* The confused provenance of the sculpture is matched by NATO’s emblem. Although approved on 14 October 1953, the organisation admits that it is unclear as to the exact origins, although the basic design was conceived by a member of the International Staff.
Originally set against a blue background, said to represent the Atlantic Ocean which bridges the United States and Western Europe, the four-pointed star symbolises “the compass that keeps us on the right road, the path of peace”, while the circle signifies “the unity that binds together the [original] 14 countries of NATO.” Read more about the known history of the NATO logo here.
* If you have further details about the provenance of the NATO sculpture please get in touch via About.Me or Twitter.
Sculpture at the entrance to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo courtesy NATO.