The A & Eagle trademark is the most widely recognized symbol of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. First used on the company’s beer products in 1872, the symbol was not registered with U.S. Patent Office until 1877. The trademark (No. 4623) soon became widely recognized as a symbol of quality throughout the world.
According to the company’s statements at the time, the essential elements of the design were “…the capital letter A and the figure of an eagle standing on the American shield…” The original eagle had its wings folded back into the “A.” Around the turn of the century, one or both of the eagle’s wings were spread outside of the “A” in an uplifted, flying motion. In 1939, the Union shield of stars and stripes was replaced with a horizontal striped shield.
Today, the traditional A & Eagle continues to serve as one of Anheuser-Busch’s most recognized logos, symbolizing the company’s preeminence among brewers around the world.
No record remains of the symbol’s original designer or its exact meaning. The “A” is believed to stand for Eberhard Anheuser, while there are several interpretations for the eagle. Some see the eagle as a representation of the unlimited vision of Adolphus Busch, while others believe it was included as a mark of respect for the United States, the adopted country of the brewery’s founders. Whatever the original meaning, the A and Eagle has come to symbolize Anheuser-Busch’s century and half old heritage of pride, quality and innovation.