Yesterday, the United States Space Force unveiled its official seal. The seal makes prominent use of the Delta symbol. With that, and with Star Trek: Picard making its debut the day before, it was hard for Star Trek fans to not draw comparisons between the seal to Starfleet’s symbol. Space Force seems to have taken note of that discussion. The organization released a statement via Facebook explaining the origin of the Space Force logo. The statement doesn't mention Star Trek or Starfleet but comes after journalists asked for clarification on the seal’s origin. Here’s the text of the statement:
“The official U.S. Space Force seal was unveiled January 24, 2020 by the President. The creation of the U.S. Space Force seal pays tribute to the newest Armed Service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. The U.S. Space Force seal honors the Department of the Air Force’s proud history and long-standing record of providing the best space capabilities in the world. The delta symbol, the central design element in the seal, was first used as early as 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Forces; and was used in early Air Force space organization emblems dating back to 1961. Since then, the delta symbol has been a prominent feature in military space community emblems.”
Whether its an homage to Star Trek or not, the delta symbol has in use for decades by the US Air Force. Designer William Ware Theiss and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry created the Starfleet insignia in 1964. The symbol debuted with Star Trek in on television in 1966. In 1982, the Air Force Space Command, Space Force’s immediate predecessor, adopted a shield with a delta symbol as its seal. That same delta symbol is the one that appears in Space Force’s new logo. While we can only speculate, it is possible that Star Trek influenced the 1982 Space Command logo. If that's the case, then that influence may be carrying through into Space Force.
Star Trek's George Takei felt Space Force's seal resembled Starfleet’s enough that the government should pay royalties. And this isn’t the first time that Space Force has made a vague reference to Star Trek. After transferring from the Air Force to Space Force, the 14th Air Force's name became Space Operations Command or SPOC for short.