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Empire in the AirAirline Travel and the African Diaspora$
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Chandra D. Bhimull

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479843473

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479843473.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 02 March 2021



(p.43) Speedbird
Empire in the Air

Chandra D. Bhimull

NYU Press

The operational call sign for British Airways, Speedbird, was also the iconic company logo of Imperial Airways. Theyre Lee-Elliott, a noted English artist with a distinctly modernist style, created Speedbird for the airline in 1932. The design was simple: an acute angle with sharp, thin, and straight lines that met in a point, like a chevron. The meaning was straightforward. The symbol stood for the swiftness of flight. Its pointy sleek shape helped Speedbird to look like the common swift, a bird reputed to be among the fastest birds in level flight. Its name called to mind quickness and mastery over nature, which helped to denote power and technological modernity. Speedbird signaled supremacy in the sky....

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