The History of CMAS Logo

At the time of the foundation CMAS hasn't adopted any logo yet. The one proposed by the president of "L'Eau et la vie sous-marine" was not accepted. But the idea was preserved: two divers, one in a diving suit, the other hunting under sea. The worldwide association represented by the globe - as it was published on the 1st to 4th issue of Bulletin of CMAS.

Headlines of the 1st Bulletin of CMAS

In the 5th issue on 16th August 1959 a new logo appeared: the mermaid with twin-tail that is known today as a CMAS logo. As told by Pierre Perraud: Philippe Tailliez, Camille Onda and Jacques Dumas visited the village Sospel In Alpes-Maritimes and caught sight of an embossment of a mermaid (also called melusine) and a merman on a house front. The same moment they thought it would be a perfect symbol of CMAS. The mermaid and the merman would symbolise the ocean, the sea and one of the tails would represent the Technical Committee and the other the Sport Committee.

The embossment was copied by Francois Clouzot or by his cousin according to several witnesses and this logo - simplified and stylized - became the logo that we know today.

Conformation of the logo till 2000

Mermaid, merman, melusine - the perfect symbol

Under the strain of voyaging, sailors through the ages have seen in the ocean the embodiment of their deepest desires and fears. On early maps the figure of the enchanting mermaid shared space with the hideous monsters and fearsome beasts who lay in wait for the explorers of unknown waters.

The figure of Melusine (or Melusina) appears in European legends and folklore as a feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers. She is usually described as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down (much like a mermaid). She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails or both. Alchemically, the siren's two tails represent unity of earth and water, body and soul.