The Emblems of Earth Starfleet and Earth Starfleet Command

by Jörg Hillebrand, Bernd Schneider and Brad Wilder

Earth Starfleet EmblemEarth Starfleet Command EmblemRelated Emblems

 

At the beginning of Star Trek Enterprise there was a distinct patch for Enterprise NX-01 but no other logos of Earth Starfleet or Starfleet Command. We could see the blue flag of Starfleet in an often reused CGI shot of Starfleet Headquarters since "Shadows of P'Jem", but props based on this design were created as late as for ENT: "First Flight", an episode consisting of flashbacks of the NX warp drive development for the most part.

Mike Okuda designed the emblems for Earth Starfleet and for Starfleet Command. Both emblems have the arrowhead (or boomerang) in common. The Earth Starfleet emblem shows this symbol on a seal with a star background, whereas Starfleet Command uses a simplified logo, consisting of the arrowhead with a crescent planet and a star. Both designs appear standalone as well as on flags. This article shows all variations of the two logo designs in their various incarnations as uniform patches, on monitors, on walls and floors, on flags and as sculptures.

 

Earth Starfleet Emblem

ENT: Shadows of P'Jem

As already mentioned in the introduction, the seal and the flag of Earth Starfleet existed as CGI since since "Shadows of P'Jem". The shot of Starfleet Headquarters that appeared in this episode was reused several times, such as in "Shockwave II", "Regeneration" and "First Flight".

ENT: Regeneration

Props based on the Earth Starfleet seal design were probably created as late as for "First Flight". They first appeared one episode earlier, in "Regeneration". We can see that Commander Williams is wearing the Starfleet patch only since this episode; on all preceding occasions his uniform was without patches. In the same episode, the Starfleet flag in Admiral Forrest's makes its first appearance as an actual prop, with the same design that already existed as CGI. We can also briefly see the emblem on a shuttle that investigates the fate of the polar expedition.

The emblem consists of a yellow arrowhead on a blue round star background, which is enframed by a thick gray inner border and a thin red outer border. Inside the gray border, there are more white stars and the Latin lettering "Ad astra per aspera" ("To the stars, through hardship"). With one exception, the design and lettering will remain consistent until the end of the fourth season.

ENT: First Flight

In "First Flight", we can spot the Starfleet emblem many times. It can be seen in the form of patches on Archer's sweater, on standard uniforms as well as on the orange spacesuits. It also appears on the flag in Forrest's office, on the wall of the hangar for the Warp 5 prototype and on the hull of the ship itself.

ENT: The Expanse

"The Expanse" shows the emblem above the entrance to the Fleet Operations Center building (in the front of which a Starfleet Command emblem is located, see below). We can also see it as a big black-and-white version on the Starfleet Headquarters building, as well as on a monitor.

ENT: Similitude

The flag can be seen again in "Similitude", at Sim's funeral service.

ENT: The Forge

Another appearance of the blue Starfleet flag is in ENT: "The Forge", inside the United Earth embassy on Vulcan, here together with the yellow Starfleet Command flag.

ENT: Storm Front II

In ENT: "Storm Front II" we can see the Starfleet Academy diploma of Ensign Patricia F. O'Malley, a crew member killed in the war with the Xindi. It is adorned by the emblem of Earth Starfleet. The existence of an institution of that name at that time (2153 according to the certificate text) may be rated as an error, knowing that the Starfleet Academy emblem clearly establishes the foundation date of 2161. On the other hand, just like Earth Starfleet became the Federation Starfleet, the name may have been passed on to the new academy.

ENT: Home

ENT: "Home" shows the emblem on a shuttle and on the floor and the walls of the Bay Stadium. We can also see it on Starfleet Headquarters and on a flag in front of the building, and once again on a monitor, in a close shot that allows to recognize all details.

ENT: Affliction

We can see the individual ship emblem as well as the Starfleet emblem on the wall of the captain's mess hall aboard Columbia NX-02 in ENT: "Affliction".

ENT: Demons / Terra Prime

The full emblem with the star backdrop usually represents Earth Starfleet as a whole, rather than Starfleet Command. Only on the floor of the conference room in "Demons", we can see the full emblem without the "Ad astra per aspera" letters. Instead, it is labeled "Starfleet Command - United Earth Space Probe Agency". This appears to be a strange mix-up, considering that the UESPA only existed in TOS (and in VOY: "Friendship One"), whereas in Enterprise Earth's only space agency is Earth Starfleet. This hybrid version was obviously created to reconcile TOS and ENT history in a way that the UESPA may still exist in some form. In any case, this emblem is the only one of Starfleet Command that uses the full seal. Another change is that a thick blue border was added to the seal.

Besides this unusual variation, "Demons" and "Terra Prime" show us the blue flag with the standard Starfleet emblem, together with the yellow Starfleet Command flag (see below).

ENT: These Are The Voyages

We can see the Starfleet patch one last time in "These Are The Voyages".

 

Earth Starfleet Command Emblem

ENT: The Expanse

We can see the simple Starfleet Command logo for the first time in Admiral Forrest’s office in "The Expanse", where it adorns the new yellow flag with the inscription "Semper exploro" ("I am always exploring"). In the same episode, the Fleet Operations Center building is seen (shot on the most modern part of the New York Streets Set). The Starfleet Command logo appears on a sign in front of the building.

ENT: Home

After no appearance in Season 3, the flag is seen again, in digital form, in the San Francisco Bay Stadium scene at the beginning of "Home". The logo, taken from the sign seen in "The Expanse", appears on the wall behind the main door to Admiral Forrest’s office in the same episode.

ENT: The Forge

The yellow flag is then seen again in "The Forge" in the United Earth embassy on Vulcan.

ENT: Affliction

The Starfleet Command logo was also turned into a glass sculpture that can be seen in Agent Harris’ office in "Affliction" standing on his desk. This further links his Section 31 activities formally with Starfleet Command.

ENT: Demons / Terra Prime

The flag is then seen again in the two-parter "Demons" and "Terra Prime" in the council chamber on the Starfleet Command grounds. In this episode the text underneath the logo, "Semper Exploro", can be read almost completely. Finally, the logo is also visible as a decorative wall-piece in the same council chamber above the large painting. It can only be seen in its entirety in "Terra Prime" though.

Summary

The following image summarizes the appearances of the simple Starfleet Command emblem in its various forms.

 

Related Emblems

Starfleet Mission Operations emblem

As soon as in ENT: "First Flight", there is a simple variation of the Starfleet emblem that resembles the later Starfleet Command emblem. It is labeled "Starfleet Mission Operations". The logo appears in the form of a patch on a wall of the 602 Club, along with some other patches, including the standard one with "Ad astra per aspera". We can't really identify it in the episode itself, but only in behind-the-scenes footage. In the same episode, the logo also appears on a wall in the control room of the Warp 5 Project (third on the left).

Security Division emblem

The Starfleet boomerang is also depicted on the Security Division patch that shows up in ENT: "Affliction".

Intrepid emblem

The individual ship patch of the Intrepid, as seen in ENT: "The Expanse", includes the Starfleet boomerang. It is not discernible it in the episode itself, but the prop photo clearly shows this symbol. The motto "In mare, in coelo" means "On the sea, in the heavens".

 

See Also

The Emblem of Starfleet Command - exhaustive survey of all variants

The Evolution of the Federation Emblem - exhaustive survey of all variants

Earth and Federation Emblems Gallery

 

Credits

The Starfleet Command flag was reconstructed by Shisma for Memory Alpha.

 


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