Barclays goes from Eagle to Shield?

Barclays has taken down its iconic giant metal eagle from the top the Barclays House in Poole, Dorset, UK. There have been claims that the Poole eagle has been removed because Barclays' proposed Dutch partner, ABN Amro, was queasy about the symbol's Nazi connotations.

Barclays, which has used the eagle brand for more than 300 years, insisted yesterday that the particular symbol at the Poole building was out of date branding - and a more up-to-date eagle symbol was still to be found at Barclays branches and on its cards, cheque books and website.

The Barclays eagle predates the Nazi era by more than 200 years, dating back to 1690 when a goldsmith-banker called John Freame adopted it. His son, Joseph, went into partnership with James Barclay.

Over the years the image has been updated and modified many times, the last in 2004. A spokesman for Barclays said: "It's nothing sinister. The eagle is coming down purely because it is out of date branding."

The leader of Poole council, Brian Leverett said: "One is always sorry when you see a familiar landmark go from the area. One could almost see it as a piece of local art. It is a decision tinged with sadness."

It is thought that the Barclays' eagle symbol could be replaced by a version of the Dutch bank's yellow and green shield.

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