President Donald Trump released the new logo for the United States Space Force on Friday, sparking a flurry of questions on social media over the origins of the design.
Observers immediately noticed the similarity between the seal and Star Trek's Starfleet Command, leading one military veteran to claim the Air Force may have ripped off the design — but provides evidence that it happened long before President Trump took office.
What are the details?
President Trump tweeted an image of the insignia with the message, "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!"
Almost immediately, people reacted with side-by-side comparisons of the logo next to Star Trek's seal, and the word "Starfleet" began trending on Twitter as Americans commented on the familiarity and suggested the U.S. military had copied a television show's design.
According to GOP Senate staffer and self-described former Air Force "nuke guy" John Noonan, the Air Force very well may have ripped off the design, but it happened long ago.
"For those excitedly tweeting that Trump stole the Star Trek logo!!!, the patch on the left was the existing Air Force [Space] Command Logo. The same one I wore as a Lieutenant in 2005."
When asked whether the Air Force originally stole the logo from Star Trek, Noonan replied, "Well, that was certainly the joke we make 15 years ago."
Vox blogger Matthew Yglesias, in a separate thread, pointed out that "Trek homage is nothing new for government space efforts," and reminded folks "that the first space shuttle was named Enterprise."