I've included a picture below of it for your convenience. I'm looking for ideally a canon (but non-canon will suffice if there isn't a canon explanation) explanation of what this emblem represents.

Klingon Emblem

  • 4
    First thought: something to do with Kahless?
    – Praxis
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 3:41
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    First thought: Blades?
    – Junuxx
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 4:00
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    @JMFB : As far as I know, the Klingon emblem seen above does not appear in TOS. In the original episodes, there is a Klingon emblem but it is rather ornate and has nothing in common with the one above. However, the one above does appear, however, in The Animated Series from the 70s --- upside down, interestingly enough!
    – Praxis
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 10:40
  • 3
    @Praxis: Actually it did show up in TOS: Elaan of Troyius. It was a bit hidden behind a guy, but it's there.
    – PiousVenom
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 13:34
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    It probably represents the Klingon Empire.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 18:00

4 Answers 4


This is discussed at some length in the Microprose Game "Klingon Honour Guard". In short, the three blades were literally those of the enemies of Kahless who, upon the defeat of their leader Mogoth, all laid down their d'k tahg knives on the ground in fealty to Kahless who then drew a circle around them.

These weapons supposedly represent Strength, Duty and Sacrifice with the connecting circle (which surrounds them) representing Honour.

In gratitude for their leadership and training, qeylIS decreed that the Honorable Three should continue to teach their skills to Warriors of future generations.

O'gat, qolaS & toHqa swore an other of loyalty to qeylIS; they placed their Daqtagh knives on the ground, one by one, symbolizing strength (lower right), duty (lower left) and sacrifice (central spike); and connecting the three weapons, qeylIS drew a circle, symbolizing honor - the force that surrounds and unites all the Klingon People."

Interestingly, the Interplay game "Klingon Academy" contains a dramatically different interpretation. General Chang vouchsafes that an ancient three-bladed weapon was the inspiration for the emblem, chosen by Kahless to represent the virtues he felt were most important; Duty, Honor and Loyalty

We have all come know the symbol of the Empire. It has been called many names throughout the ages. Perhaps the least understood is the Heart of Virtue or tIq ghob in the ancient tongue. The Heart of Virtue originated from an archaic weapon favored by qeylIs, The Unforgettable. It is said he chose this as the symbol of his house and later the Empire because of the weapon's unequaled balance. Yet, this is inaccurate. qeylIs chose it because each of the three blades represents those virtues that are the very foundation of every true warrior. Duty, Honor, Loyalty. Each in perfect balance.

Of these three blades, Duty is the first virtue. Duty is the beginning and the end of the warrior's path. Without Duty a warrior becomes slave to vain, glory, and reckless self-interest. A true warrior will not tolerate these vices neither in his comrades nor in himself.

The longest blade of the Heart of Virtue belongs to honor. It is the most difficult to master. It has been said, "Mine honor is my life. In that I live. And for it I will die!”

  • Interesting. I've never played Klingon Academy, but that 3-bladed weapon that Chang describes sounds like the same one I was thinking of. Pretty sure I saw it described in a novel, though.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 16:33
  • @omegacron - It could well be the same one. Note that the games are not canon and seem to draw inspiration from a variety of sources
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 17:03

The three-pronged emblem that symbolizes the Klingon Empire appears to be ancient, as it can be found mounted above the Gates of Gre'thor, the Klingon underworld, as seen in Voyager S06E03 "The Barge of the Dead".

enter image description here

Kahless the Unforgettable carved the emblem into the first bat'leth ever forged, so it was presumably a part of Klingon culture prior to its forging.

enter image description here

Given that no official explanation of the design is ever seen or discussed in canon, it's possible that even the Klingons themselves have forgotten its origins. The emblem does keep up with the overall Klingon cultural motif, however, which appears to favor triangular designs and the number three. This design scheme is seen throughout the Empire in its architecture, weapons, and ship design.

enter image description here

Note: The emblem first appeared on-screen in TOS S0302 "Elaan of Troyius".

  • 4
    Care to source your claims (aside from the note about "Elaan of Troyius")?
    – Lexible
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 15:20
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    @Lexible - What claims? I'm not really "claiming" anything here.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 15:46
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    Omegacron "ancient" is a claim. "predating even Khaless" is a claim. The possibility of the origins being forgotten is a claim. That the empire has a motif of three is a claim.
    – Lexible
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 20:03
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    @Lexible - none of these are really claims. I'm just stating what we've seen on the show alone. Gre'thor is ancient, and the symbol appears on the gates, so the symbol must be ancient as well. The motif of 3 is fairly obvious in the shape of Klingon ships, bladed weapons, and buildings. I re-worded the answer a little, though.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 16:16
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    @Omegacron Those are all really claims: which shows, movies or other media support these claims? "Gre'thor is ancient, and the symbol appears on the gates, so the symbol must be ancient as well." Assuming that the gates are as old as Gre'thor, sure... source?
    – Lexible
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 16:45

If you look at the Viking symbol on Odin's Horns, you will see that it makes reference to toasting rituals and a Meade made from blood. The two symbols are similar.

  • But so what if they're similar? Can you tell us why that's relevant to the Star Trek emblem? Otherwise this should be converted into a comment.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:30
  • @Mooz I think this is a suggestion that the ST production staff likely took their inspiration for the Klingon emblem from the Viking symbol. It stands to reason since a lot of Klingon culture seems to draw from Viking culture (although there are also elements drawn from Japanese culture).
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 2:03

Klingons have "heart", what we call "soul" which is derived from "sun" or "spirit", and mistranslated biblically as "son". Their symbol represents Birkeland currents, which carry electrical power from the stars. It is the giver and strength of life, of which they have an ample amount. A representative gif can be seen below.

Kligon's heart

  • 1
    Okay, thats cool and all, but how do we know? Can you include a source that supports what you said?
    – amflare
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:31

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