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Dynamic Chiropractic – March 24, 2003, Vol. 21, Issue 07
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Chirologomania, Part 1 of 2

By Joseph Keating Jr., PhD

Perhaps it's part of wanting to stand for something; people seem to like symbols, insignia and distinctive marks and phrases to characterize, distinguish and identify their organizations. Chiropractors are no exception to this phenomenon, and the profession has seen a bewildering array of logos, trademarks, mottos, slogans and emblems. While no comprehensive survey can be offered here, a brief stroll through "Chirologoland" may be instructive. (One caution: the volume of data is not an indicator of the significance of the topic.)

A fun place to begin is one of the better-recognized (?) images of the profession: the chiropractic angel (Keating, 1997; Nash & Keating, 1993). The National Chiropractic Association (NCA; forerunner of today's ACA) adopted the angel for its "official emblem" and spoke of it in sublime language:

The Official Emblem

The NCA emblem expresses the highest and noblest ideals of the profession. Conceived by artist M. McDonald of Columbus, Ohio, and perpetuated by Burton Shields Company, this emblem signifies the idea of physical humanity rising to sublime perfection in the white light of chiropractic truth and knowledge. It represents the spirit of chiropractic leading public consciousness upward toward the truths of healing and the attainment of higher physical standards. Its adoption by state societies everywhere is urgently requested in order that the words "chiropractic" and "health" may be uniformly recognized and accepted as synonymous terms by peoples throughout the world. Members of the National Chiropractic Association will be presented with a beautiful reproduction of this official emblem at an early date (Official, 1934).

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

 

The angel would undergo many transformations in coming years:

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

 

Of course, there are other symbols used to represent chiropractic, the profession and its organizations. The Association for the History of Chiropractic (AHC) relies on good old spinal imagery, which has been something of a standard throughout the "chirocentury."

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

 

Torches have also been popular, although some may be mistaken for ice cream cones:

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

 

(Part two will continue with logos, beginning with the symbolism of winged hands and lamps.)

References

  1. Keating JC. The chiropractic angel: research resolves confusion. Dynamic Chiropractic 30 June 1997, pp. 18-9.
  2. Nash J, Keating JC. The birth of the chiropractic angel. Chiropractic History 1993 Dec;13(2):26-9.
  3. Official emblem. The Chiropractic Journal (NCA) 1934 Oct;3(10): rear cover.
  4. Trever W. In the Public Interest. Los Angeles. Scriptures Unlimited, 1972.

Joseph Keating Jr., PhD
Phoenix, Arizona



Click here for previous articles by Joseph Keating Jr., PhD.

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