“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” — Captain James T. Kirk
“There is nothing new under the Sun.” — Solomon
Recently, folks got a glimpse of a new military emblem. Some claim the design looks strangely familiar. Is somebody a copycat? What really happened may surprise you.
Late last year, President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill established a sixth branch of the armed forces: the U.S. Space Force. The new organization is the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947.
Military leaders say Space Force will improve protection for U.S. satellites and other space assets.
Not long after the announcement, President Trump unveiled the new Space Force logo. The emblem is blue and white with an arrowhead shape centered over a globe and stars. Around the edge are the words “United States Space Force” and “Department of the Air Force.”
“I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!” tweeted the President about the logo.
Wut? asked stunned Star Trek fans, aka Trekkies.
It’s true. The “new” Space Force logo looks very much like the Star Trek Starfleet Command symbol . . . which is similar to the Air Force Space Command crest . . . which looks a bit like several NASA emblems.
That’s because, according to Chris Burns of SlashGear.com, “all of these symbols are designed to mimic one another—for real.”
The U.S. Army Air Force first used a center triangle symbol in 1942. Early Air Force space organization emblems showed a similar shape in 1961. Since then, the symbol—often called a “delta”—has appeared on other military space emblems.
The Air Force Space Command was the forerunner to the current Space Force. Burns says its logo with the delta, planet, and stars, “has been around and in official use for at least the past 13 years.” Plus, Burns says, another, older version has “been in use since 2004—the original dates back to 1982.”
Ex Astris Scientia is an online fan site. The site quotes Star Trek designer Mike Okuda as saying that his Starfleet logo first showed up in 1996 in Deep Space Nine. “The symbol was intended to be somewhat reminiscent of the NASA emblem,” Okuda admits.
No one should be surprised at similarities in design. Designers must draw on the same colors, shapes, and objects that have always been. After all, “Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:10)