I was reading this post (http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2007/10/03/bungie-gets-all-the-flaming-helmet-fun/) and found it interesting that no one seems to explain where the ‘flame’ concept came from.
A few years ago back when they were developing Halo 2, Jason Jones, the grand-high-poobah of Bungie, made a comment about what Halo 2 was purported to be in his mind:
“Halo 2 is a lot like Halo, only it’s Halo on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas,” explained Jason Jones, head of Bungie Studios. “And the ninjas are all on fire, too.”
Ever since then, the ‘Flaming Ninjas’ have been the emblematic symbol of Bungie. This is why you see Flaming Ninja insignia available as shoulder patches in multiplayer Halo 2 to this day.
Now I suppose, they’ve taken this to a completely new level: There’s now a Flaming Head motif specifically for Bungie employees at Microsoft.
[photo stolen from http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2007/10/03/bungie-gets-all-the-flaming-helmet-fun/]