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May 18, 2020

Space Force flag unveiled at the White House

The US Space Force unveiled its new flag at an Oval Office ceremony, which US President Donald Trump called ‘a very special moment’.

By Harry Lye

The flag was unveiled on Armed Forces day during a private ceremony that the President, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and US Space Command Commander General John Raymond, among others, attended.

The unveiling follows the formal standing up of the US Space Force late last year, a move Trump had been lobbying for since 2018. The creation of the Space Force marks the first time in 72 years that the US has created a new branch of its military.

Speaking at the ceremony Trump said: “This is a very special moment because this is the presentation of the Space Force flag. So we’ve worked very hard on this. And it’s so important from a defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, from every standpoint there is.

“As you know, China and Russia, perhaps others, started off a lot sooner than us. We should have started this a long time ago, but we’ve made up for it in spades. We have developed some of the most incredible weapons anyone has ever seen, and it’s moving along very rapidly. And we have tremendous people in charge.”

Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said that the unveiling of the Space Force flag was a ‘very historic moment’ that built on the US’ long history as a ‘space-faring nation’. He added that the US adversaries had effectively weaponised space and that “The United States is now doing what it needs to do to protect our assets in space and ensure that space remains the heavens by which we not only protect America, but we sustain our economy, we sustain our commercial capabilities, we sustain Americans’ way of life.”

The tone was echoed by Milley who said that defending the US in space, was a key part of sustaining the US’ ‘way of life’.

So far there are 16,000 personnel assigned to the US Space Force, on secondment from the US Air Force (USAF). Applications to join the Space Force directly opened in March this year. Space Force is separate from the USAF but has a similar to the one the US Marine Corps has with the US Navy, with the Space Force falling under the Department of the Air Force.

Commenting on the ceremony Space Force spokesperson Lynn Kirby said: “The US Space Force is proud to present the official flag to the President of the United States, to our space professionals across the globe, and to the American public, thus establishing another piece of our culture.”

The force is still set to make final decisions on its members’ role names and ranks. In February, the Space Force put out a request for ideas for options which are set to be decided on by a closed group of Space Force personnel.

Image: US Space Force.

What does the flag mean?

Kirby said that the design of the Space Force flag pulls its design from elements of the US Space Force seal which was first revealed by Trump early this year.

Commenting on the design General Raymond said: “The delta in the middle is a symbol that the space community has used for years and years and years. The North Star signifies our core value — our guiding light if you will. And the orbit around the globe signifies the space capabilities that fuel our American way of life and our American way of war.”

Below the seal is the Roman Numerals MMXIX, meaning 2019, the year the force was officially stood up.

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