Around New England

Nonagenarian Rockport Resident Created Classic New England Patriots Logo

October 14, 2022

A 96-year-old cartoonist got $100 from original New England Patriots owner Billy Sullivan for creating the Patriots logo that appeared on players’ helmets from 1960 to 1992

Pat Patriot, as the fierce Minuteman ready to snap the ball from center is called, was the creation of Phil Bissell, who lives in Rockport.

A cartoon of Pat Patriot drawn by Bissell appeared on page 40 of the Wednesday, February 17, 1960 issue of The Boston Globe, a day after the then-new team of the then-new American Football League announced that its name would be Patriots.

At the time, the team was known as the Boston Patriots. (The team changed its name to New England Patriots in 1971, when it finally got a stadium of its own, in Foxborough, about 23 miles southwest of Boston.)

Bissell told The Gloucester Daily Times that a sports editor of the newspaper without Bissell’s knowledge gave the image to Sullivan to use as a logo for the team for nothing, but that Bissell ultimately got 100 bucks from Sullivan.

The Patriots occasionally use in throwback games the old red, white, and blue uniforms with a version of the Minuteman on their helmets, as they did during this past weekend’s game against the Detroit Lions. The old uniform often draws favorable comparisons to the more restrained uniforms the team now uses, with a logo known as the Flying Elvis.

Yet Bissell isn’t happy with the softened version of Pat Patriot that the Patriots have used in recent years, calling it a “commercial thing.”



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