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Club Atlético Boca Juniors (Argentina)

Last modified: 2015-06-30 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: la boca | boca | boca juniors | club atlético boca juniors | cabj | c.a.b.j. | república de la boca | xeneize | genoa | xentenario | x | soccer | football | sweden | harbour | immigrant | drottning sophia | johnson line |
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[Club Atlético Boca Juniors flag]
by Francisco Gregoric, 10 Aug 2006

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Presentation of the club

The Club Atlético Boca Juniors (usually known by its short name, "Boca") is located in the Neighborhood of La Boca in the City of Buenos Aires. It is one of the two most famous and biggest clubs and football (soccer) teams in Argentina. The other biggest team is the Club Atlético River Plate. Both teams are the ones with most fans in Argentina.

Boca and River are big rivals and the match they play between them is the most famous football (soccer) game in Argentina. The rivalry was born because when the clubs were founded, both of them were located in La Boca neigborhood. In 1923 the club River Plate moved to the northern part of the City of Buenos Aires, but the rivalry has continued up today.

Lots of important players, from both Argentina and foreign countries, have played for Boca Juniors. However the most famous player that has ever played for Boca is Diego Armando Maradona, who is also a big fan of the team.

The club Boca Juniors was originally founded in April 3, 1905 by a group of Italian immigrants in the neighborhood of La Boca from which the team takes its name. As several clubs in Argentina in those times, the club also took an English word as part of the name.
Francisco Gregoric, 10 Aug 2006

The club was given the English word "Juniors" as a name, the use of English being common in the naming of Argentine soccer clubs, as the sport was introduced into Argentina by English railroad workers (cf. River Plate, Racing Club, etc.)
Joe McMillan, 5 Jul 2005

The colors of the club and the flag

According to my memory, when the football club was founded, they disagreed as to the club colours, so they agreed to watch the harbour and take the flag colours of the first foreign ship coming in. It was Swedish.
Knut A. Berg, 16 Jun 1998

It should be noted also that, thanks to the efforts of Guatemala-based argentine vexillologist Luis Havas, it is known exactly which Swedish ship accidentally passing by the Buenos Aires harbour that morning of 1907.03.23 (the club was officially founded in 1905.04.03) inspired the colors of this flag: it was the 4146 ton freighter Drottning Sophia, sailing from Copenhagen.
António Martins, 21 Jun 2000

During the first two years, Boca Juniors used light colors jerseys. In 1907 it was using a white shirt with vertical dark blue or black stripes. However the Club Boedo used the same shirt. A game was preformed between both teams. The pact was that the looser of that game would have to change colors. Boca lost the game.

Some members of the club Boca Juniors went to the harbor. They decided that they would choose the colors of the flag of the first ship that would arrive.

Finally the Swedish ship Drottning Sophia, property of the Shipping Company Johnson Line appeared. So they decided that blue and yellow would be Boca Juniors colors.

It is told that during several years after that, the members of the company Johnson Line had free tickets to watch Boca Juniors games when they were in the City of Buenos Aires. This way the club expressed gratitude for the colors.

The colors are known by Boca Juniors fans as "azul y oro" (blue and gold).

The flag of the club reproduced the color scheme of their t-shirt.
Francisco Gregoric, 10 Aug 2006

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Flag variant with emblem

[Club Atlético Boca Juniors flag with emblem]
by Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

This flag has the emblem of the club added at center.

The emblem has the acronym of the club CABJ (Club Atlético Boca Juniors) in yellow capital letters. It also has several yellow stars. Each one stands for a championship won by the team. So each time Boca wins the local football (soccer) championship, or an international tournament, a new yellow star is added.

The emblem has been modified several times during the club history. The stars were added in 1970, however, the old Swedish Shipping Company Johnson Line that was the inspiration for Boca Juniors colors, also used a yellow star in its flag.
Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

Larger emblem variant

[Club Atlético Boca Juniors flag with big emblem]
by Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

Almost the same design with a larger emblem.

There are several variants of the Boca Juniors emblem flag
Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

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Centenary flag

[Club Atlético Boca Juniors Centenary flag]
by Fernando Bollana, 25 Jan 2005
(from Rapiarte)

In 2005 the club celebrated its 100 years anniversary. A special logo was designed to commemorate this date. The logo looks like an X formed by the two colors of Boca Juniors. Special flags were also designed to celebrate that anniversary.

The "X" stands for the first letter of the word "Xeneize" a deformation of Zeneise (Genoese) in that dialect. "Xeneize" is the way the members, fans and followers of the club Boca Juniors are known. In 1905 when the club was founded there were a lot of Italian (specially Genoese) immigrants in the area. Before that, there even was a curious flag incident of the Genoese-inspired "La Boca Republic", in late 19 Century.

So, the word "Xentenario" is a kind of pun between "Centenario" (Centenary) and "Xeneize".

There is also a second model of a horizontal triband of blue-yellow-blue with the "X" logo as center to celebrate the centenary.
Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

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Flags used by fans

Although Boca Juniors fans usually raise the horizontal triband blue-yellow-blue flag, as in most Argentine teams, fans use almost every possible imaginable design of flag. In fact the colors are the important thing: for Boca Juniors as long as the azul y oro (blue and gold) are present, the flag in OK.

There are different designs of horizontal triband flags, but also quartered flags, chequered flags, blue flags with yellow stars, flags with the name of the club, name and/or portrait of players, etc. Lately there have been blue flags with a yellow number 12 surrounded by a circle (or the same design with inverted color: blue number over yellow field). These flags are made because in football (soccer) there are 11 players for each team, but in Boca Juniors the fans are considered as "the [player] number 12" (La Doce).

However possibly from an historical point of view, the most interesting design of flag raised by Boca fans is the blue flag with a yellow Scandinavian Cross. This design is in fact almost the Swedish flag that originally was the inspiration for the colors of the team.
Francisco Gregoric, 11 Aug 2006

La 12 official flag is the same Boca Juniors' flag blue/yellow/blue but with a different emblem for Boca displaying only three stars on top, for being the winner of three Copa Intercontinental trophies (official known as European South American Cup, sponsored by FIFA, now a defunct trophy in its past format, which evolved into today's format which is the FIFA Club World Cup Championship). The flag has the following inscription: on the left it reads the following in yellow capital letters "COMO NO SOMOS LOS ÚNICOS" (since we are not the only ones), and on the right it reads in yellow capital letters "DECIDIMOS SER LOS MEJORES" (we decided to be the best). [see photo taken inside Boca Juniors' official museum, on September 7, 2011]
Esteban Rivera, 18 Sep 2011

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