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President Donald Trump unveiled the new logo for the Space Force on Friday, leading to ridicule, praise, and even accusations that the U.S. government stole the design.
“After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!” the president tweeted.
After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military! pic.twitter.com/TC8pT4yHFT— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
As expected, Trump’s tweet was immediately met with a range of opinions. While some praised the design, others alleged that the logo was stolen from Star Trek.
“You have to steal from Star Trek now?” Twitter user @Doh_Doh_Burrd asked. “Is it not enough you consistently receive cease & desist orders for using songs from various musicians including Prince & Queen while violating their copyrights?”
You have to steal from Star Trek now? Is it not enough you consistently receive cease & desist orders for using songs from various musicians including Prince & Queen while violating their copyrights? @ViacomCBS have you seen this?— victoria (@Doh_Doh_Burrd) January 24, 2020
Specifically, users claimed the new logo was nothing more than a repurposed version of the symbol used by Starfleet Command, the fictional space organization from the sci-fi franchise.
Even CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta pointed out the two logos’ similarities.
Trump just announced the new logo for the Space Force. The other is Star Trek Starfleet Command. pic.twitter.com/S7NeYdjR4C— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 24, 2020
Oh wow. pic.twitter.com/uiJfOS1L1H— Miriam Kramer (@mirikramer) January 24, 2020
Actor George Takei, who played the character Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series, appeared displeased as well.
“There is nothing sacred any more,” Takei said.
There is nothing sacred any more. pic.twitter.com/ubyy4OIZrp— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020
So did the U.S. government rip off Star Trek while designing their new logo? Not exactly.
As pointed out by national security commentator and former U.S. Air Force Captain John Noonan, the new logo is merely an updated version of the one used by the Air Force Space Command, the division of the Air Force that preceded Space Force.
“For those excitedly tweeting that Trump stole the Star Trek logo!!!!, the patch on the left was the existing Air Force Command logo,” Noonan tweeted. “The same one I wore as a Lieutenant in 2005.”
For those excitedly tweeting that Trump stole the Star Trek logo!!!!, the patch on the left was the existing Air Force Command logo.— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 24, 2020
The same one I wore as a Lieutenant in 2005. pic.twitter.com/mYb60YioBP
Questions still remain as to what exactly the role of the Space Force will be. The agency, which operates under the Department of the Air Force, was officially created last December when the president signed the National Defense Authorization Act.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.