What Is the History of Different Marine Corps Emblems?

The United States Marine Corps emblem has gone through several iterations since the force's creation in 1775 by the Second Continental Congress. The design was initially based on the British Royal Marine emblem, and various changes were made in 1798, 1821 and 1824. The emblem took its present form in 1868 after a commission appointed by Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin recommended a design consisting of an spread-winged eagle, a globe, an anchor and the service motto "Semper Fidelis."

In 1954, the military crest underwent a slight adjustment when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order that replaced the emblem's crested eagle with a bald eagle. The crested eagle is found in different habitats all over the world, whereas the bald eagle is only found in North America and is a common symbol of the U.S. government and military. The bald eagle also graces the great seal and the currency of the United States.

The Latin-language Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis" translates into "always faithful" or "always loyal." In every iteration of the Marine Corps emblem, the anchor has symbolized the amphibious nature of marine warfare, and the globe's depiction of the Western Hemisphere has symbolized the Marine Corps' global reach and military strength.