Dingwall-based Ross County Football Club were formed in 1929. Although they were not admitted into the Scottish Football League until 1994, County had a long history of faring well against league sides in early rounds of the Scottish Cup. Since entering the SFL (and later SPFL), County have worked their way up the ranks. They reached their only Scottish Cup final in 2010, though they lost 3-0 to Dundee United.
When I first sought to redesign the Ross County badge in 2013, the club had just reached the top tier of Scottish football for the first time in their 80+ year history. That season was an anomaly as Rangers had been booted down to the SFL Third Division (now the Scottish League Two) after a series of administrative issues, thus opening the door for the promotion of two second tier clubs. The second club, Dundee, didn’t fare too well, and like Dunfermline of the 2011/12 season, Hamilton Academical of the 2010/11 season and many other newly promoted clubs, Dundee was relegated back to the second tier after only one season in the top. The same was not so for Ross County, who ended the 2012/13 season in the fifth spot on the table, just one point behind their Highland rivals, Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
In January 2016, County beat Celtic 3-1 in the Scottish League Cup semifinal, securing a spot against Hibernian in the final. On 13 March, Ross County earned their first cup victory with a 2-1 wing against Hibs. But their fortunes didn’t last forever. County finished the 2017/18 season at the bottom of the Premiership table and were relegated to the second tier. Fortunately, their stay in the second tier came to an end at the end of the 2018/19 season, when County finished top of the Championship table and gained promotion back to the Premiership.
Their current crest, in used since 1990, isn’t entirely awful, but I thought I could update it very slightly. I tried two variations (on the left below) and published them on 29 May 2013:
The first is very similar to the badge in use at the time, with the typeface changed, the stag’s head enlarged to occupy more of the space on the bottom half of the shield and the ‘COUNTY’ wave being less dramatic (with an aim of making it less cartoony). The blue has also been darkened to fit more in line with the traditional colours of the Ross and Cromarty coat of arms (and to differentiate Ross County from Inverness CT and Rangers). I made a second, slightly more divergent redesigned badge, dropping the ‘COUNTY’ wave, employing a border and making use of the more traditional gold of the Ross and Cromarty coat of arms.
While I apprecaite the minimalism of the designs above, in my 2018 redesign, I have decided to capitalise on the heritage of the historic County of Ross and Cromarty, both in colour and in symbolism.
The shield in the middle of the badge is a retooling of the Ross and Cromarty coat of arms. The three lions rampant are taken from the old Earldom of Ross. The stag’s head is taken from the arms of the MacKenzies of Kintail, Earls of Seaforth. The flaming beacon is taken from the crest of the MacKenzies and the arms of the MacLeods of Lewis.
Unintentionally, my home shirt redesign resembles a hybrid of the traditional Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain home strips. I find the red and dark blue striking. The away shirt is inspired by original Ross County home strip used from 1929 to 1939. I also employed a white stag’s head for the away shirt badge, inspired by the Ross County badge in use from 1953 to 1959, and then again from 1982 to 1987.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.