There is no other American Armed Force with a logo as iconic as the United States Army logo. From commercials to online ads to stickers and more, the iconic star with its signature bold serif all-caps typeface spelling out “U.S.Army,” chances are everyone reading this has seen it. But while the iconic Army logo may just feel like a whim, there’s more to it than that. This includes a history of our Army’s actual symbol, a marketing agency, and the fact that, while its goal is to protect, the military still understands the value of marketing.
More like this: The Epic True Story Behind the National Guard Minutemen Logo
What Is the Army Logo?
Since January 2001, the Army logo has been a five-pointed star in a box-like border with another rectangle-esque box-like figure underneath it spelling “U.S.Army,” thanks to advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide. The background is black, and each box-like element serving as a border is a yellowish-gold color. The star itself is white, and inside of another border, the shape of a star is the same yellow-gold color as the other border elements. Between the star and its star border is a small glimpse of the black background.
Rebranding the Army has happened over time, but this notable change was a marketing effort brought about during the time of the War on Terrorism, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. However, the star used as the U.S. Army logo is far from new.
During World War II, white stars were used to mark American vehicles in warzones. It didn’t take long before it would become connected to America and adopted by military forces and civilians alike as a way to represent America.
In the 90s, things would change. Black stars were brought in. The traditional white star had begun to fade. Yellow was brought in, as well. These three colors are used to pay respect to the U.S. Army’s history, with each representing charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur – materials necessary for gunpowder.
These colors would lay the groundwork for what we know today as the Army logo, seen across a variety of military marketing pieces, apparel, and flags. United States Army logos may come and go, but its commitment to defending freedom never does.
The Seal and Emblem of the U.S. Army
If we’re going to talk about Army logos, we’re going to have to remember that the U.S. Army has an official seal and emblem, too. These elements have also evolved over time and are managed by the Department of the Army Emblem. The emblem got its look from the seal after it was authorized for use.
The current seal and emblem gained popularity and notoriety in 1974 when it was approved for display, but traditionally, it was used not for advertising the U.S. Army or anything of that nature but for authenticating documents. Additional uses were forbidden.
The Army emblem comes from the Army seal but has its own differences, including the addition of colors and the use of “Department of the Army” instead of the seal’s use of “War Office.” To reflect the current custom for displaying flags, the American flag is located to the right (observers’ left) on the emblem. On the other flag, the Army flag pattern has been added. The emblem replaces the Roman numerals indicating the date the Army’s seal was adopted, “MDCCLXXVIII,” with “1775,” the year the Army was established.
There is a ton of symbolism throughout the colors being used. Blue stands for perseverance, loyalty, truth, and vigilance. Red stands for courage, fortitude, and zeal. The white is to represent deeds worth remembering. Black is used to showcase the Army’s constancy and determination. Finally, gold is used to showcase the branch’s achievement, dignity, and honor.
Even the Armed Forces Are a Brand
The emblem changing and being used as a marketing effort is debatable, but the star logo being used as a marketing tool is not. Army logos have changed over time to help the branch with its branding and recruitment efforts.
It’s hard to have an Army if you don’t have anyone to enlist. This is why it spends $400 million or more annually to help attract new recruits. Symbolism, tradition, and special meanings aside, these logos are powerful tools that solidify the Army brand.
Now that the wars in the Middle East have wound down and troops are increasingly being placed away from battlefields, recruitment is still an issue, and the landscape is changing once again. Is another Army logo change on the horizon? Only time will tell.
How To Draw the Army Logo
Not to be confused with how to draw the BTS army logo, but if you’re looking for the real deal, we’ve got you covered. The Army logo continues to unify and identify brave individuals who sacrifice their time, health, and lives to keep us all safe. Feeling artistic? Follow the tutorial below and take your best swing at one of the most iconic military logos of all time: