Seal of the Department of Homeland Security: The Symbolism

DHS seal

At first it seemed very old-world-coat-of-arms-ish

But then I found out what it meant

Taking its inspiration from the Great Seal of the United States the DHS seal features the American bald eagle holding an olive branch with 13 (symbolizing the original 13 colonies) leaves and berries in its right hand talon and 13 arrows in its left talon. The olive branch symbolizes peace and the arrows symbolize war. The eagle faces right, toward peace.

Centered on the eagle's breast is a shield containing three elements representing the United States homeland "from sea to shining sea". Land, sea and air are depicted, representing where DHS operates. A dark blue sky with 22 stars represents the original 22 agencies and bureaus that came together to form the department.

The eagles wings break the inner circle into the outer ring to signify the departments willingness to break with bureaucratic traditions.

The primary colors echo the Great Seal and national colors - white for purity and innocence, red for hardiness and valor and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.