History of the Navy Emblem & Flag

History of the navy Emblem & Flag

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navy emblem

Water Division

The United States Navy is a division of the national armed forces, dedicated to water warfare. The Navy emblem has a full history dating back to 1775, which was the year the Continental Congress bought and converted a small fleet of ships to serve as its Navy.

Since then, the U.S. Navy has grown into the world’s largest naval fleet! The official United States Navy Seal was approved by the president on October 23, 1957. The seal was actually to serve as the main feature of the Navy flag, which was adopted in 1959.

navy emblem


National Bird

The Navy logo is a round print which represents the long history of the American people’s struggle for independence. There is an image of the bald eagle on it, which has been considered the national bird of the United States since the 1700s. The eagle is also seen on coins and other military flags. It is associated with power, authority, and strength.

The Original Colonies

A shield with a blue top is on the eagle’s chest. The main part of the shield is divided into 13 stripes in red and white. They are vertical and represents the 13 original colonies.

navy emblem

11 black stripes are above the eagles head, which show the effect of movement. A gray 44-link chain frames it. That is associated with and anchor and stands for strength and unity.

2 Different Emblems

As you can see in the picture above, there are two different Navy emblems. The second common element is the anchor. On the original emblem, the anchor is slightly wrapped in rope and it is in the feet of the bald eagle, under its protection. The anchor represents navigation and team unity.

navy emblem

The Navy Seal was also designed with a gold rope surround the words and image. Overall, the seal symbolizes a land and sea background with ‘United States Navy’ proudly displayed.


The United States Navy originates back to 1775, when delegates from British colonies decided to get two ships to raid British merchant ships. This is how the Continental Navy started, which was actually disbanded in 1785. After that, the U.S. did not have a Navy for a long time, besides the Coast Guard.

navy emblem

Did you know?…

Unlike the national ensign, pennant, and admiral’s pennant (which fly from mast or staff on board naval vessels), the flag of the United States is reserved for display purposes and is carried by an honor guard on ceremonial occasions.

Paid or volunteer?

Navy personnel on duty in the submarines are actually volunteers! A national 21-gun salute is fired on President’s Day (George Washington’s birthday), Memorial Day, and Independence Day to honor the President.

Different diction

Typically, words may be said differently in the Navy as a sailor. Walls are called bulkheads, windows are portholes (left is port side, right is starboard). A ceiling or roof is an overhead, a toilet is found in the head, and the rack is where they sleep. Interesting!

Have you heard of the saying ‘Mind your Ps and Qs’?

This actually started out as a warning for sailors to be on their best behavior. In centuries past, sailors often had bar tabs on credit, and barkeepers made marks next to each patron’s name with a ‘P’ for pint and ‘Q’ for quart. This saying meant to settle up your debt and stay somewhat sober to keep an accurate count (and to behave as a member of the U.S. Navy should).

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If you liked learning about the history behind the Navy emblem, let’s take a look at some of the best gifts for a Naval officer!

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What is the official Navy emblem?
The United States Navy Seal was officially approved by the president of the United States on October 23, 1957. The seal was designed with a three-masted square-rigged ship with a lace-type anchor in front of the ship and the American bald eagle boldly displayed in front of the anchor.

What does the Navy logo mean?
An eagle on the Navy seal seems to be defending a ship, while it is framing the stars of the military’s three branches on the Air Force flag. The eagle is a universal symbol of power and authority.

What is the Navy’s motto?
Faith, Courage, Service true, with Honor, Over Honor, Over All. There is no official motto for the U.S. Navy. “Non sibi sed patriae” (Not self but country) is often cited as the Navy’s motto, however.

Is the Navy logo trademarked?
No. Even though the company has a contract with the Navy, the company may not use Navy trademarks in its business or marketing materials.


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