I heard long ago that the USS Enterprise was the only ship of 12 to return from its 5 year mission. Because Kirk pulled this off, Star Fleet adopted the logo of the Enterprise uniforms to honor the ship and crew. This is consistent with early episodes because other ships crews had different chest insignia as did flag officers aboard stations. I have never officially seen this anywhere. Has anyone else heard this or seen information to back this up?

  • I have never heard anything like this at all.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 0:40
  • I picked up on it when it was mentioned on a Franklin Mint plate authorized by Gene Roddenberry back in the late 70's. I have never heard this anywhere else, but it chimes in with the fact they all wear the enterprise logo from the first series on. Look at the earlier episodes, Deckers command tunic looked like a pretzel, others were square etc. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 0:54
  • I remember hearing/reading this somewhere long time ago, too.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 1:22
  • 1
    Strongly related: What does the Starfleet insignia represent? (and probably where @HorusKol remembers reading it)
    – Izkata
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 2:01
  • To make it clear, if you don't know where this question is coming from, watch the original series. Each starship had its own logo, worn on the uniforms. The Enterprise's logo became the logo for all of Starfleet at some point between the series and movies. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Not sure exactly how this fits into canon, but the Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise Haynes Manual states that:

In 2277 Starfleet recognized Enterprise's unique contribution to history by abolishing the separate emblems that had been used on different Starfleet ships and starbases and replacing them with the Enterprise's 'arrowhead' badge.

However, as this reddit conversation points out - there are many reasons to doubt that the arrowhead was only specific to the Enterprise.

Firstly, there's no specific statement in canon to that effect. We also see the crew of the Kelvin wearing the arrowhead (obviously a production choice, but with an effect in-universe). In other episodes, such as TOS: Court-Martial there are several non-Enterprise officers wearing the badge.

A TAS episode has another ship's crew wearing the badge.

The theory becomes that this badge is actually a fleet badge (think US 7th Fleet as opposed to Starfleet - a navy can consist of multiple fleets) - shared by ships under a specific fleet command, and that this was eventually adopted by Starfleet.

  • Can you point to a specific scene in "Court Martial" where a character has the arrowhead but is clearly not an Enterprise crew member? Is it a speaking role or a nonspeaking one, and if the latter how do you know whether the character came from the Enterprise or not? The main non-Enterprise characters like Commodore Stone and Areel Shaw did not have the arrowhead insignia in that episode.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 2:06
  • 2
    Kirk's classmates in the M-11 Starbase Club are most likely not Enterprise crew members based on their conversation - but they do have the same badge
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 2:13
  • Is there any evidence whether Starfleet had adopted the Enterprise badge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture? Maybe near the beginning of the film? Google fails me. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:58
  • @JohnSensebe maybe... The film is set around 2275 (actually, anywhere between 2271 and 2278), so a bit earlier than the supposed fleetwide adoption than 2277. Then again, Kirk is a Rear Admiral at Starfleet HQ and no longer associated with the Enterprise (and possibly not its fleet) - but he is wearing the same badge. I think all the other officers at HQ are also wearing, but need to watch to confirm.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 22:28
  • @HorusKol - Exactly my thoughts. The problem is, I tend to fall asleep watching TMP. ;-) Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 2:17

There's nothing canon to suggest why they did away with Assignment Patches.

In the mid-23rd century, Starfleet continued the tradition of using unique patch emblems for different assignments, albeit placing them instead over the left breast. By 2278, this styling ceased, and Starfleet adopted the USS Enterprise's assignment patch as the standard emblem for all Starfleet personnel.

2278 is when the USS Bozeman disappeared (2285 is when Wrath of Khan occurred), which is the earliest dating of the red jackets and the standardized Enterprise logo

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