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What’s the Story Behind the Space Force Flag?
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What’s the Story Behind the Space Force Flag?

Of all the U.S. Armed Forces flags, we think it’s fair to say that the Space Force flag stands alone. For better or worse, this is generally the agreed-upon notion. Some love the flag, and others despise its comic-book feel (some even think it was ripped directly from Star Trek). Will you change your mind once you discover why the Space Force flag looks the way it does?

Suggested read: Space Force Uniform Regulations Relaxed in New Updates

The Design of the Space Force Flag

The flag was first unveiled in 2020 at the White House by President Trump. Because of this, some have called it “Trump’s Space Force flag;” however, many elements of the flag itself were created long before Trump’s administration took office, and some aspects of it were created before the Space Force itself was even a thing.

The U.S. Space Force flag is a perfect visual representation of the USSF’s missions. It shows what looks like a silver, beveled arrowhead on top of a globe spinning in its elliptical orbit with the Polaris star and star clusters all around it. This is all topped off by the black background to represent, of course, the vastness and literal blackness of space.

Below this imagery are the words “UNITED STATES SPACE FORCE” with “MMXIX” underneath that, both in white. MMXIX is the Roman numeral representation of 2019, which is the year the Space Force was founded.

The arrowhead mentioned above isn’t actually an arrowhead, however. It’s the simplified representation of the Delta wing, also called the Delta symbol, used throughout official USSF seals, emblems, and flags. The Delta has several elements that make it a vital part of the United States Space Force flag.

The Meaning Behind the Space Force Flag’s Delta Wing

The Delta was created and used for the first time in 1961 within the USAF. Though simplified in the Space Force flag, the Delta is a beautifully complex icon that perfectly embodies the USSF’s heritage, missions, and place in the U.S. Armed Forces.

space force delta

The Delta is an upward-pointing arrow with four points. There’s a star in the middle, four beveled elements, interior spires, negative space, and an outer border that all have important meanings.

  • The outer border symbolizes their dedication to the protection and defense of the space domain.
  • The black negative space between elements represents the vastness of deep space.
  • The beveling represents the four branches of the United States Armed Forces that support the USSF’s missions: Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.
  • The two interior spires symbolize a rocket being launched into space.
  • The star in the middle is Polaris, a guiding star that represents how the USSF’s core values will continue to guide them through each mission they embark on.

U.S. Space Force Flag vs. Star Trek

Some people just can’t take the Space Force flags seriously because they look too similar to the Star Trek flag for the United Federation of Planets Starfleet Command. How much is the Space Force flag like Star Trek, really? We think the similarities are quite shocking.

starfleet command

Star Trek’s flag uses a symbol that looks incredibly similar to that of the USSF’s Delta. They also have a star in the middle of the Delta, an elliptical orbit, and star-like clusters in the background. Though the colors aren’t the same, the similarities are undeniable. Did the military blatantly rip off the much-beloved Sci-Fi franchise?

Many people, including original James T. Kirk actor William Shatner, say this isn’t the case.

According to an op-ed piece written by Shatner for Military Times, “Star Trek has borrowed so much of its iconic rank symbols from the U.S. military and NASA. When you unveiled the Space Force logo, many immediately saw it as an homage to ‘Star Trek’ (even though our Delta was an homage to the previous military space insignias).“

As much of the Star Trek universe already shows parallels to general military structures, it makes sense that the creators and design leads would take inspiration from real-world military iconography to make their shows and movies truer to real life (at least, as much as possible).

The Space Force Flag Perfectly Represents the Branch

For us, we think the Space Force flag is a perfect representation of everything the USSF does and embodies. Regardless of anyone’s opinions on the flag, it’s sure to remain a mainstay for the branch for many, many years to come.

Read next: Chance Saltzman Nominated As New Chief of Space Operations for USSF

Image: USSF

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