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All About the Marine Corps Emblem: Design and Meaning

Published on
March 14, 2023 at 1:56:22 PM PDT March 14, 2023 at 1:56:22 PM PDTth, March 14, 2023 at 1:56:22 PM PDT

Being a marine is an honor, and wearing the U.S. Marine Corps emblem is considered sacred by those who have served in this noble armed forces branch. The eagle, globe, and anchor are revered symbols. Those in the USMC wear them with pride, often tattooing them on their bodies, signifying the deep connection they share with their brothers in arms. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning behind this prolific emblem and its place in Marine Corps history.


The History Of The United States Marine Corps Emblem


The origins of the USMC emblem date back to 1776 when marines would don a foul anchor. The anchor featured a chain wrapped around it one or more times, crafted from pewter or silver. Although changes to this symbol would follow, it would remain a constant fixture on the emblem.


In 1868, the Marine Corps added the globe and spread eagle to the emblem, along with a ribbon inscribed with the Latin phrase and soon-to-be Marine Corps logo, “Semper Fidelis,“ meaning “always faithful.”


What Does the Marine Corps Emblem Mean?


It is believed the design used in this version was derived from the “Globe and Laurel” work by the British Royal Marines. Each of the included symbols stood for a specific aspect of marine life. The globe and crested eagle stood for worldwide service, and the anchor emblem signified the amphibious duties demanded of enlisted marines and the branch’s connection to the U.S. Navy.


Altogether, the emblem represents the Marine Corps’ commitment to defending the United States of America and advancing our ideals. This emblem remained in circulation until June 22, 1954, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order approving the creation of a new seal in response to a request by Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.


The newly created seal contained a bronze version of the traditional emblem; however, the crested eagle was replaced by an American bald eagle. This eagle stands on the western hemisphere of a terrestrial globe with its wings outstretched and a scroll in its beak containing the phrase “Semper Fidelis.” The entire emblem sits atop a foul anchor with a scarlet background containing a gold roped rim encircling a Navy blue banded edge with the inscription “Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps” in gold lettering. Officially adopted in 1955, this emblem design remains in use today.


How Has US Marine Corps Emblem Influenced Other Nations?


It is interesting to note how influential the Marine Corps emblem has been on other militaries worldwide. South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan have both created emblems inspired by the USMC insignia. Additionally, the Republic of China Marine Corps (ROCMC), the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC), and the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) have all adopted emblems that resemble that of the American Marine Corps.


How to Wear The Marine Corps Emblem


Almost every Marine Corps uniform features the official seal, whether worn as a lapel pin on their dress uniform or printed inside the MARPAT digital camouflage. Members of the Marine Corps wear the military insignia as the standard cap badge on all uniform covers. 




1. What is another meaning of the eagle on the Marine Corps emblem? 


Another commonly accepted meaning for the eagle on the emblem is the Marine’s commitment to supporting and defending the constitution and their ability to “fight in the air.”


2. When do the Marines use the phrase Semper Fi?


Semper Fi is used for motivation, as a greeting, and as an expression of brotherhood. 


3. How many changes has the Marine Corps emblem undergone? 


The United States Marine Corps emblem has undergone seven total changes from its original design, occurring in 1776, 1798, 1821, 1824, 1834, 1868, and finally, in 1955.


Honor the US Marine Corps with a Fresh Flag


The Marine Corps flag features a scarlet standard with the official emblem containing the words United States Marine Corps in a banner directly underneath. It was first flown in 1939 and is a symbol of the many brave men and women who have fought valiantly to ensure the continued freedom of our great nation. It is important to choose a durable, weather-resistant outdoor Marine Corps flag that will resist fading and stay vibrant for years to come.


Carrot-Top Industries is proud to supply high-quality American, military, state, and custom flags to all types of commercial businesses. We have partnered with many industries, including the Boy Scouts of America, government facilities, schools, and large and small businesses, providing commercial-grade flagpoles and American flags.



We supply businesses with polyester and nylon flags as well as American flag accessories. Everything we sell is proudly made in the USA! With over forty years of experience, Carrot-Top Industries has everything you need to display your patriotic pride.


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