MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: Putting the Wings on the “A”

By Betsy J. Green

One of the early directors for the “Flying A” – Alan Dwan – wrote that he invented the studio’s famous logo.

“The American called for an A, and . . . I thought it would be nice with wings on it. I don’t know why. It just suggested itself . . . So, when the wings were on it, we decided it was a flying A. That’s all. We didn’t think of the word ‘flying’ until after we had the wings.” – Alan Dwan letter, Gledhill Library.

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. Learn more at​.


Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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