Background: Prior to the establishment of the Department of the Army Emblem, there was no official display item to identify the Army. The Army seal had traditionally been used to authenticate documents only and was not authorized for display. In recognizing the need to provide a display item, The Secretary of the Army approved the emblem design as the official emblem to represent the Army on 29 January 1974.
Description: The Army emblem is derived from the Army seal and differs from the seal in several respects:
a. The emblem is displayed in color while the seal is not.
b. The emblem includes the inscription “Department of the Army” instead of the seal inscription “War Office”.
c. On the emblem, the American flag is on its own right (observers left) to reflect the current custom for display of flags. The Army flag pattern has been added to the other flag.
d. The Roman numerals “MDCCLXXVIII” which indicate the date the Army seal was adopted, were replaced with the date “1775” to reflect the date the Army was established.
Symbolism: 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.
Current Usage: The reproduction of the Army emblem is authorized in publications and other printed matter of an official or quasi-official nature in Army approved films and in official Army motion pictures or television programs. The design may not be modified in any manner. It may be reproduced in its proper colors, through the use of a one-color line process, or as a line drawing. The use of the Army emblem for any other purposes, including its incorporation in other items for commercial sale, will be only as authorized by The Institute of Heraldry.
Information Provided by The Institute of Heraldry – March 1998