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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

February 27, 2015  RSS feed
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Text: T T T

Was the original Dodge automobile logo a Star of David?

Jewniverse & Jewish Press staff

You’ve probably seen the commercial, the one extolling the Dodge brothers who left the Ford Motor Company in 1914 to create a different kind of car company. The ad ends with a close up of the original grill ornament with a distinctive six-pointed star and a voice over that says the brothers believed car making was a “holy endeavor.”

So what’s up with the Jewish star?

Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge were not Jewish. But when the brothers unveiled their first Dodge, the company’s logo looked a lot like the Star of David. It was a circle with two interlocking triangles forming a six-pointed star. An interlocked “DB” was at the center of the star, and the words “Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles” encircled the outside edge.

One popular belief was that the symbol was chosen to anger their former partner and competitor

Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite. (Not true, the Dodge Brothers Club insists: They were friends at the time.) Plus, the club points out, the Star of David was not universally linked to Judaism when the logo first appeared in 1914.

The brothers died in 1920 and never explained their decision.

The DB star was discontinued for the 1939 models, perhaps because the company believed certain export markets would not buy a car with the link to the Jewish symbol.

One newsletter editor suggested the “emblem is also a ‘Solomon’s Seal’ sign of interconnected spirits, as the brothers were.” Or the triangles could be the Greek letter Delta (for Dodge), or it was modeled after a law enforcement badge. Or maybe they just liked how it looked.

Jewniverse is a daily email list and blog featuring extraordinary, inspirational, forgotten and just-plain-strange dispatches from Jewish culture, tradition and history. Sign up at www.TheJewniverse.com.


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