For many years, the athletic teams of the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary (as Old Dominion was formerly called) were known as the Braves. This was a derivation of the William & Mary nickname, the Indians. As Old Dominion achieved its own four-year status and saw its enrollment surpass that of its Williamsburg neighbor, it was no longer suitable or acceptable to have its teams called the Braves.
The name Monarchs evokes much of the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and of Old Dominion's mother institution, the College of William & Mary. The nickname "Old Dominion" was first coined to the Virginia colony by King Charles II after Virginia's loyalty to the crown during the English Civil War. Furthermore, William III & Mary II, whose patronage helped found the College of William & Mary in Virginia in 1693, ruled England at the invitation of Parliament as "joint monarchs."
The Monarch used by Old Dominion has a royal crown on a lion's head, representing a rich history and a strong future. The school's current family of athletic logos was adopted in April 2002.