Saturday, July 31, 2010

The United States Navy (USN) Seal

The United States Navy (USN) is the sea branch of the United States armed forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.

History: The first American Navy seal was approved by the Continental Congress in 1780. Since then, the seal underwent numerous changes. Recommendations from Secretaries of the Navy, heraldic experts, and historians resulted in this final seal design approved by President Eisenhower in 1957.

Description: On a circular background of fair sky and moderate sea with land in sinister base, a three-masted square-rigged ship underway before a fair breeze with after topsail furled, commission pennant atop the foremast, National Ensign atop the main, and the commodore's flag atop the mizzen. In front of the ship a Luce-type anchor inclined slightly bendwise with the crown resting on the land and, in front of the shank and in back of the dexter fluke, an American bald eagle rising to sinister regarding to dexter, one foot on the ground, the other resting on the anchor near the shank; all in proper colors. The whole within a blue annulet bearing the inscrip tion "Department of the Navy" at top, and "United States of America" at the bottom, separated on each side by a mullet and within a rim in the form of a rope; inscription, rope, mullet, and edges of annulet all gold. Land in the design would symbolize the Navy's supporting shore facilities as well as the fleet's amphibious strike capabilities. Since the wording "Navy Department," used on earlier seals, had generally come to signify only the
headquarters activities in Washington, the inscription was changed to "Department of the Navy" in order to embrace the Navy's total world-wide operations afloat, in the air, and ashore.
Above Information Provided by the Navy Historical Center and The Institute of Heraldry

About the “US Navy Seal” artwork: The design has been recreated in vector form in Adobe Illustrator CS4. Afterwards, it has been digitally enhanced in Photoshop CS4. Once again, my unique layered process was used. The main goal of my “Military Insignia” projects, was to highlight beauty of the design, without

altering the official version of the seal. As always, I tried to achieve a nice 3D effect, by utilizing unobtrusive drop-shadows. I also emphasized textures of several woods, as well as anchor metals and flag silks. And, of course, some nice gold and enamels didn’t hurt.

As always, the above artworks are available  via my “Military Insignia” galleries from FineArt America and RedBubble. You can just follow the links in the article to get to the corresponding galleries.

To active duty or reserve military personnel, veterans and their family members: I grant an explicit permission to download the above images to be used for non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families, as well as for non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit website design, training materials and presentations. 


  1. Serge,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my Zazzle thread, a link to your blog, and for following my blog as well.

    It is nice to know the history behind the Navy emblem--I did not know (clueless). You did a great job of capturing the original version and later enhancing to make it better.



  2. Your US military seals are exquisite!

  3. @Cinda: Thanks! I'm glad you like them! Cheers

  4. I am a veteran of the Navy and want to thank you for a beautiful job! A.J.Kimball

  5. @Anthony Hello, Anthony, your kind comment is much appreciated. In fact, things like this are, in huge part, exactly what keeps me going... Thanks! S.A.

  6. Hey, Serge, I saw on your Zazzle you have all the Naval commands and fleets. You should post them on your blog here. I love your work.

    1. @Rob Heady Thanks! Some of them are still missing. As soon as I complete the series, it will most certainly be published here. Stay tuned. Cheers...

    2. Good to know. I love all your work and would love to see more of it here. I'd really like to see more US Navy Insignia Pins which you made for EOD.

  7. Do you have the Commercial version for the Navy, like the one depicted on this page?


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