This is the first picture of Colin Edwards’ helmet design for the 2011 Indianapolis Grand Prix. Featuring the Special Warfare insignia of the US Navy SEALs and the stars and stripes, it pays tribute to the 22 special forces soldiers who were killed on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Most of those soldiers were members of the elite SEAL Team 6, which was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. Edwards is a long time supporter of the US Military, but wearing a helmet such as this in a very international competition, even one that takes place in America, is bound to prove controversial.
Update: our buddies at Monster Energy grabbed Colin and had him explain the helmet on video for us. It's below.
Colin is close friends with Marcus Luttrell, a noted SEAL.
The Special Warfare insignia is made up of an eagle clutching an anchor, trident and flintlock pistol. The eagle is America’s symbol of freedom, also representing the SEAL’s speciality in aerial insertions. The anchor represents the Navy, of which the SEALs are a part. The trident represents the sea, which is the core operating environment for the service. The cocked and ready to fire pistol represents preparedness and direct action. The insignia is the only US military pin which is worn in the same way by both officers and enlisted soldiers.
The raid that resulted in bin Laden's death is one of the most daring and controversial in military history, accomplishing its goal in complete secrecy with minimal force while potentially violating Pakistan's sovereignty. MotoGP is dominated by European participants at the rider, team and organization levels. Their liberal sensibilities and the controversial nature of America's involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is bound to set tongues wagging this weekend. Think of this helmet as a red, white and blue middle finger.
Thanks for the photo, Bob.