AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND HERITAGE
Air Force Space Command Emblem
When USAF Chief of Staff, General Lew Allen made the decision to create Space Command on 17 April 1982, he set the date of the activation for 1 September 1982. That wasn't very much time to create all the paraphernalia of a new Air Force command -- flags, plaques, patches, etc. Before any of these items could actually be made, an emblem design had to be created which epitomized the mission and people of the new command. Several different designs were put forward, but General Hartinger suggested that the command emblem should be patterned on the space operator's badge. The entire process was accomplished in record time and the first ever Space Command flag was ready for the official assumption of command. The final design drew heavily on the space badge for most of its elements.
The centrally dominant globe represents the earth as viewed from space, the earth being both the origin and control point for all space satellites. The lines of latitude and longitude emphasize the global nature of Air Force space operations. The emblem is provided its distinctive appearance by two symmetric ellipses representing the orbital paths traced by satellites in earth orbit; the satellites themselves being symbolically depicted as four point stars. The 30 degree orbital inclination and symmetrically opposed placement of the satellites signify the worldwide coverage provided by Air Force satellites in accomplishing the surveillance and communications missions. The slight tapering of the orbital ellipses represents the characteristic eastward motion. The centrally superimposed deltoid symbolizes both the Air Force upward thrust into space and the launch vehicles needed to place all satellites in orbit. The distinctive dark blue background shading, small globe, and stars symbolize the space environment.
The Space Command Motto, "Guardians of the High Frontier" was the product of a contest which was opened to the local Air Force community in the Colorado Springs area. The actual motto was coined from the submissions of three individuals representing Space Command and the USAF Academy. The winning motto was announced 17 February 1983 in the Peterson AFB paper, the Observer.