Dingwall-based Ross County Football Club were formed in 1929. Although the club was not admitted into the Scottish Football League until 1994, County has a long history of faring well against league sides in early rounds of the Scottish Cup while members of the Highland Football League. Since entering the SFL (and later Scottish Professional Football League), County have worked their way up the ranks. They reached their only Scottish Cup final in 2009/10, though they lost 3-0 to Dundee United.
In 2013, County reached the top tier 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, did not fare well, and like Dunfermline Athletic 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 2015/16 Scottish League Cup semi-final, securing a spot against Hibernian in the final. On 13 March, Ross County earned their first professional cup with a 2-1 win 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.
While I appreciate the minimalism of the current badge, in use since 1990, for my redesign, I 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 stag’s head for the away badge, inspired by the 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.