Skip Navigation


Security Levels

Coast Guard History

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the Coast Guard adopt the “slash” for its cutters, boats, and aircraft?

The design consists of a wide red bar forward of a narrow blue bar both canted at 64 degrees above the horizontal with the Coast Guard emblem superimposed.  It was originally recommended in 1964 by the industrial design firm of Raymond Loewy/William Snaith, Incorporated and was adopted service-wide on 6 April 1967.

The color red used in the slash is Pantone 179.

The color blue used in the slash is Pantone 307.

The "U.S." was added in front of the "Coast Guard" lettering on each cutter hull beginning in 1990 as per the order of then-Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner.

For more information see:

"The History of the 'Racing Stripe' Emblem and Brand Identity for World Sea Services and Coast Guards: The History of the 'Racing Stripe' Emblem and Brand: Part I: The United States Coast Guard," by William H. Thiesen & "Part II: The Rest of the World" by Christian Ostersehlte. Published in Sea History 139 (Summer 2012), pp. 28-33.

Download Plug-Ins: Some of the links on this page require a plug-in to view them. Links to the plug-ins are available below.
Click Here to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF)
Last Modified 1/12/2016