Speculative Constitution-class Starship Insignias

We here at Star Trek Phase II are periodically asked: “Hey—has anyone ever developed insignias for all the twelve (Constitution-class) starships in Starfleet?”

 It’s actually a little bit of a complicated question.  There were times when we saw Starfleet personnel other than Enterprise crew members (from other space ships and starships and starbases and such) who also wore what is now thought of as the Enterprise arrowhead/delta insignia.  So maybe this insignia isn’t really just the Enterprise patch.  On the other hand, we saw that Commodore Decker of the Constellation and Captain Tracy of the Exeter both had non-Enterprise insignias.  As a result, the (imperfect) notion developed that every ship seems to have its own insignia.

 Of course, we’re all familiar with the Enterprise insignia:

  Enterprise Patch

And we did see the starship Constellation insignia in “The Doomsday Machine.”

 Constellation Patch

And we saw the starship Exeter insignia in “The Omega Glory.”

 Exeter Insignia

But that was pretty much it for the actual original series.

 The first attempt anyone really made at developing a complete set of all the starship insignias (and, heck, exactly how many starships there were and the names of those ships was never really firmly established anyway), probably came with some designs from Mr. Shane Johnson in the 1985 publication Star Fleet Uniform Recognition Manual.

 Star Fleet Uniform Recognition Manual

 Mr. Johnson developed insignias for all the (debatably) thirteen starships in the fleet.

 Starfleet Insignia

Starfleet Insignias

Here are are some better pictures of what he came up with.

 The Constellation—from the William Ware Theiss costume design:

 Constellation Patch

The rather nondescript Constitution:

 Constitution Patch

The Defiant—which I suppose is superseded canonically by the insignia for the Defiant seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “In a Mirror, Darkly:”

Definat Patch

The Enterprise, of course:

 Enterprise Patch

The Excalibur—based, of course, on the name of King Arthur’s famous sword from Arthurian legend:

 Excalibur Patch

The Exeter—from the William Ware Theiss costume design:

 Exeter Patch

The Farragut:

 Farragut Patch

The Hood:

Hood Patch

The Intrepid—which we learn from the episode “The Immunity Syndrome” was crewed entirely by Vulcans—so its insignia is based on the IDIC (Infinite Diversity Through Infinite Combination) symbol:

Intrepid Patch 

And then rounding out the insignias are the Lexington:

Lexington Patch

The Potemkin:

 Potemkin Patch

The Republic:

 Republic Patch

The Yorktown:

 Yorktown Patch

Mr. Shane Johnson’s designs aren’t really canonical, of course, but they are fun to help fill in some of the gaps.





Author Greg Schnitzer

Gregory L. Schnitzer is Co-Executive Producer on the fan-based Internet series Star Trek New Voyages/Phase II (formerly known as Star Trek New Voyages). Greg is a Registered Nurse and is often in charge of Emergency Medical Services at the Star Trek New Voyages/Phase II shoots. He is also the production's Property Master and on-again, off-again Set Decorator. Born and raised in Los Angeles (which he still calls "home"), in real life, Greg is a Registered Nurse, currently working in Health Information Management at a variety of medical facilities in the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. Find Greg's page on the IMDB at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3348883

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Ronnie Beaton says:

    I quite like the Defiant and the Excalibur insignias.

  • Joseph K says:

    There are these too

  • [email protected] says:

    I remember seeing some of these in the original Star Trek Technical Manual from the late 70’s. Not sure that they did all 12 though.

  • Regarding the notion of there having been 13 ships “in starfleet”: of course, starfleet used to consist of many more ships of a variety of types; the number 13 applies to the supposed total of Constitution-class ships (of which Enterprise was one) in service during Kirk’s 5y-mission.
    If I’m not mistaken, the names of these original ships were laid down in the oroginal writer’s bible for future reference and later “canonised” by the AML model kit of Enterprise which came with decals for all 13 ships. The kit was produced in cooperation with Roddenberry’s company so one might assume that these ships and their names are fairly canonical.
    See “The Making of Star Trek” by Stephen E. Whitfield.
    Regards from Germany, and keep up the good work,

  • The Admirable says:

    You forgot the ship that brought “Charlie X” to the Enterprise. The Antares captain Ramart and XO had the “jellyfish blob” type of insigina on their tunics, though they may not have been true Starfleet officers.


  • Herb Finn says:

    Clearly there were more than 13 ships in Starfleet – so we can assume it was 13 Constitution Class Ships

    Let’s not forget the star/cluster emblem used for Starfleet personel at Starbases,etc.

  • Rich Civil says:

    Of course the real reason background folks seen on a starbase and such had enterprise insignias is that the producers knew that viewers in the late 60’s couldn’t see the costumes of background characters very clearly (no big screen HD TV’s and no pausing the TV). Just grabbing some of the regular wardrobe costumes off the rack was a lot quicker and cheaper than putting different insignia patches on them.
    The different insignias actually lasted into the the first movie.
    Different insignia from ST:TMP http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/9198/sttmp1r.png

  • Chris says:

    So did they ever nail down when Starfleet changed everyone over to the Enterprise logo? I assume it is because of what the Enterprise had done while it was the head ship of the Federation and part of the reason Kirk becomes an Admiral.

  • I always liked the U.S.S. Exeter insignia.

  • Leland Frame says:

    I have just discovered your series and I think it’s absolutely wonderful! Beats JJ Abrams’ crap all to hell! I’ve been a trekker since 1969! (Only saw it once on NBC, since we lived in a fringe area and had bad reception. So I guess that classifies me as second-generation trekker.) Anyway, RE: Uniform Insignia. I’ve always felt that the reason we sometimes saw the Enterprise insignia worn by others (for example: “Court Martial” and “The Menagerie”) is because each Starbase had its own insignia, much like today’s miltary divisons. Since each starship has a specific starbase as its command base, as stated in “Space Seed” everyone assigned to that sector would wear that insignia. So that’s why everybody on Starbase 11 would be wearing the “Enterprise Insignia” Next subject: “Mind Sifter”: My favorite fan story ever! Glad to see you’re doing it! Lastly, have had some ideas for a prequel to “The Conscience Of The King” for many years now. For example I’ve beleived that Kirk’s father was in Starfleet Intelligence and was assigned there on a covert mission, taking his family along with him as cover. That;s also where Sam Kirk met and fell in love with Aurelan! If you’d like to pick my brain on this, feel free to contact me via email. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to the next missions!

  • TOS Purist says:

    Everyone always forgets the badge for the Antares, from “Charlie X.” And the insignia worn by personnel on Starfleet outposts, as seen in “Arena” and “Balance of Terror.” AND they seem to forget that the default “Starfleet badge” for the TOS era was the starburst, seen in “Court Martial,” “The Menagerie,” and “The Deadly Years,” among others (notably when admirals would appear on screen to speak to Kirk, with the actual “boomerang” logo for Starfleet on the wall behind them). And let’s not forget Finnegan’s cadet badge from “Shore Leave” (which was a smaller, silver version of the default Starfleet “starburst” badge).

    And your statement, “As a result, the (imperfect) notion developed that every ship seems to have its own insignia.” Why would that notion be considered imperfect? It’s accurate to the series.

    • Well, the article was about the Constitution-class starship insignias. It wasn’t really about the Antares’ insignia or the Cestus III insignia or the Romulan Neutral Zone border Outpost insignias or the administrative Starbase insignia or the Academy cadet insignia or the Starfleet “boomerang” wall decoration that’s similar to the yellow wedge on the ship’s hull, or the mirror universe insignias or the dress uniforms or rank braids, or the Tantalus or Elba II penal colony insignia. Those would be interesting subjects, but they aren’t really about the Constitution-class starship insignias. But you do raise a good point: I’ll re-title the article to reflect that I didn’t “forget” all those other insignias; I just didn’t bring those other insignias of varous kinds into a discussion on Constitution-class starship insignias. I’ll leave those interesting and somewhat related insignias for another article.

      When I describe that the notion of every starship having its own insignia as being “imperfect,” I mean that the costume designer seems to have implemented and realized that notion imperfectly. There are “Enterprise” patches seen on people not associated with the Enterprise; conversely, we saw in The Original Series that the crew of the starship Defiant did not, in fact, have a patch different from other starships. So the producers didn’t implement a “every ship has its own patch” rule flawlessly and perfectly.

      More “late-breaking” and interesting historical behind-the-scenes information about the ships’ insignias can be found here:


      Thanks ffor taking the time to post!

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