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FOULED ANCHOR--The foul anchor as a naval insignia got its start as the seal of the Lord Howard of Effingham. He was the Lord Admiral of England at the time of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. During this period the personal seal of a great officer of state was adopted as the seal of his office. The fouled anchor still remains the official seal of the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain. When this office became part of the present Board of Admiralty, the seal was retained--on buttons, official seals, and cap badges. The Navy's adoption of this symbol and many other customs can be directly attributed to the influence of British Naval tradition. The fouled anchor is among them.
The symbolism for the elements of the Army emblem is the same as for the Army seal with the above deviations and additions: The colors of the design elements are those traditionally associated with the ideals of the United States and of the Army. The flags are in proper colors. Blue is symbolic of loyalty, vigilance, perseverance, and truth. Red denotes courage, zeal, and fortitude. White alludes to deeds worthy of remembrance. Black is indicative of determination and constancy. Gold represents achievement, dignity, and honor
On June 22, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an Executive Order which approved the design of an official seal for the United States Marine Corps. The new seal had been designed at the request of the Commandant of the Mariene Copr, General Lenuel C. Shephard Jr.The new seal consisted of the traditional Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem in bronze; however, an Armiacan bald eagle replaced the crested eagle depicted on the 1868 emblem, and is depicted with wings displayed, standing upon the western hemisphere of the terrestrial globe, and holding in his beak a scroll inscribed with the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful) with the hemisphere superimposed on a fouled anchor. The seal is displayed on a scarlet background encircled with a Navy blue band edged in a gold rope rim and inscribed "Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps" in gold letters.Coincident with the approval of this seal by the President, the emblem centered on the seal was adopted in 1955 as the official Marine Corps Emblem
The predominant colors, ultramarine blue and gold, are the colors of the Air Force through transition from the Air Corps. The 13 stars represent the Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States. The grouping of three stars at the top of the design portrays the three Departments of the National Defense Establishment, Army, Navy, and Air Force. The crest includes the American Bald Eagle, which is the symbol of the United States and air striking power. The cloud formation depicts the creation of a new firmament, and the wreath, composed of six alternate folds of silver and blue, incorporate the colors of the basic shield design. The shield, divided with the nebuly line formation, representing clouds, is charged with the heraldic thunderbolt. The thunderbolt portrays striking power through the medium of air. The Roman numerals beneath the shield indicate the year 1947, in which the Department of the Air Force was established.