The Strategic Air Command Insignia

The insignia of The Strategic Air Command was designed by Staff Sergeant R. T. Barnes, then assigned to the 92nd Bombardment Wing, in 1951. Submitted in a Command-wide contest, it was chosen as the winner by a three judge panel. The judges were: General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander-In-Chief, Strategic Air Command [CINCSAC]; General Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander-In-Chief, Strategic Air Command; and Brigadier General A. W. Kissner, Chief of Staff, Strategic Air Command. Staff Sergeant Barnes' winning design netted him a $100 United States Savings Bond.
In the language of heraldy, SSgt Barnes' entry for the Command emblem was:

On a sky-blue shield over two clouds, one in the upper right and one in the lower left extending to the edges of the shield, white shaded blue-grey, a cubit arm in armour issuing from the lower right and extending toward the upper part of the shield,
the hand grasping an olive branch green, and lightning flashes red.

The SAC Shield was described in the more formal language of medieval heraldry in this fashion:

Azure, two clouds proper, one issuing from sinister chief and one issuing from dexter base,
a cubit arm in armour in bend, issuing from the sinister, the hand grasping a branch of olive proper,
and three lightning flashes gules.

The significance of the devices on the emblem is as follows:
the arm and armour signify strength and mastery of the art of war;
the olive branch is the universal symbol of peace;
the lightning bolts signify power and speed.

The insignia of The Strategic Air Command was the icon for the
successful deterrence of nuclear combat during the Cold War.

By keeping the peace SAC fulfilled its' motto - Peace Is Our Profession.


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