The Marine Corps Emblem: Elements and Meaning

Marine Corps EmblemFor Marines, the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor is a hallowed symbol. It’s a badge of honor. Marines wear the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor on their uniforms; it’s a central part of the Marine Corps flag; and many Marines get it tattooed on their body. Earning the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor is what makes a Marine…a Marine.

 

New Marine receives the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor
New Marine receives the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor

The Eagle, Globe, & Anchor consists of three parts. The top part is the Eagle.

USMC Enlisted Emblem
USMC Enlisted Emblem

The eagle signifies the Marines’ commitment to support and defend the Constitution. It also represents the fact that we fight ‘in the air.’ Our aviation heroes include such figures as the Honorable John H. Glenn, Jr (Marine fighter pilot, test pilot, astronaut, and U.S. Senator).

Honorable John H. Glenn, Jr
Honorable John H. Glenn, Jr.

The Eagle carries a banner in his beak, which is embroidered with our motto, Semper Fidelis. On the Marine Corps flag, there is another banner underneath the whole emblem that says, ‘United States Marine Corps.’

United States Marine Corps

The central part is the Globe. It depicts the Western hemisphere, because that’s where the bulk of the Corps’ action took place in its early history. The Globe also represents our global reach. If you pay close attention to the Marine Corps flag, you’ll notice that the Globe consists of two colors, and shows some lines of latitude.

USMC Officer Emblem
USMC Officer Emblem

Behind the Globe is the Anchor, which stands for our ties to the U.S. Navy. Since the earliest days, the Marines have worked with the Navy to be an amphibious fighting organization, able to project force ashore. The Anchor is ‘fouled,’ meaning it has rope (or line) wrapped around it. The Anchor’s fouling does not have a ‘bitter end,’ or a loose end; it is essentially perpetual. This shows that we aren’t going to disappear anytime soon; our time as a fighting force won’t come to an end.

"The raising of that flag on Mt. Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years." - James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 1945
“The raising of that flag on Mt. Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.” – James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 1945

Whether in a full color tattoo, on a t-shirt, on a Marine’s uniform, on a bumper sticker, or on any of the Marine Corps flags that fly across the globe, the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor is an important symbol of the Marine Corps’ culture and history.

Marine Corps SealCheck out all the Marine Corps Flags and related accessories here:

https://www.gettysburgflag.com/military-flags/marine-corps-flags

Leave a Reply