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Most of the legions have very distinct names, many of these names where changed on meeting their Primarch, or with the permission of the Emperor but they do not match one another.

However the Dark Angels (I) and Blood Angels (IX) have similarities in name, chapter symbol etc. I realise that over the years Games Workshop has worked to make these distinct in terms of history, flavour and special rules etc but it feels like when first envisaged there was a reason for the similarity.

Has any reason been given, in or out of universe, for the similarities between these 2 legions?

Dark Angels chapter symbol Blood Angels chapter symbol

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  • Any pictures of the chapter symbols? – Oni Apr 22 '20 at 5:51
  • thankyou for adding the images not had a chance to come bac to yhis – Richard C Apr 24 '20 at 16:16
  • "it feels like when first envisaged there was a reason for the similarity.". A big part of the background for these two Chapters was introduced in the Codex "Death Angels" in the second edition of the game. At that time (1996), the number of armies was limited. Maybe the similar name was a way for Games Workshop to justify introducing two new armies in the same Codex. – Taladris Apr 27 '20 at 9:56
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Prior to the creation and rediscovery of the Primarchs, the Legiones Astartes were predominately known by their legion number rather than a particular name. In the case of the Blood Angels, they were the IXth Legion (also known as the Revenant Legion), and in the case of the Dark Angels, they were the Ist Legion.

Now, for the Blood Angels, the name comes directly from their Primarch, Sanguinius. Sanguinius was notable for having massive white wings not unlike those of traditionally-depicted angels, and overall resembled a typical angel in his appearance. After being rediscovered by the Emperor and given command of the IXth Legion following battle on the world of Teghar Pentaurus, Sanguinius declared of his legion that "even though a darkness hangs over them, a future soaked in blood and horror, they are angels yet. Angels of Blood." And henceforth the IXth Legion was known as the Blood Angels.

The Dark Angels, on the other hand, being the Ist Legion (and for a time the only Legion), were referred to as "Angels of Death" directly by the Emperor himself. Later, after the rediscovery of their Primarch Lion El'Jonson, the Ist Legion was officially renamed the Dark Angels after an element from a Calibanite fable (Caliban being the world on which the Lion was raised) in which an army of shadow-enshrouded angels descended from the sky to aid the Calibanite people in a time of great need (which is generally how many Imperial citizens would come to view the Adeptus Astartes as well, though the Calibanite myth likely predates the creation of the Astartes by a considerable margin).

In regards to the similarities between their Legion/Chapter iconography, the use of wings is present across the Imperium, and at first glance one might think that there was a running connection between them. Several sigils including those of the Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines), the Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard), and the Imperium itself bear the motif of wings, derived from the Aquila emblem that symbolizes the Imperium at large. The Imperialis, a decoration in the form of a winged human skull, likewise features this motif and is prominent on Space Marine armor. However, it appears that their similarities are mere coincidence: The Dark Angels' badge of a winged sword was a pre-existing emblem of a Calibanite sect of monastic knights called The Order, which discovered and raised Lion El'Jonson after his arrival on Caliban, while the Blood Angels' badge of a winged drop of blood is probably a reference to Sanguinius' naming of the Legion and to the Primarch's own wings.

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  • great answer! was it one of the HH books in which the dark angels origin was mentioned(specifically the calabintine origins part) – TerranGaming Apr 30 '20 at 9:59
  • @TerranGaming I'm afraid I don't know. – SpaceWolf1701 Apr 30 '20 at 14:26

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