SHIELDAzure, within an orle of seven mullets two cannon in saltire below a sword fesswise all Or.
On a wreath of the colors Or and Azure a porcupine in defensive position Proper.
On a scroll Azure lined Or, the motto "SHARPLY PERSEVERANT" in Gold letters.
The complete coat of arms in full color as blazoned within an oblong border arched at top and base with outer and inner edges formed of gold continuous rope and enclosing the inscription"USS THORN" at the top and "DD-988" in base all in blue.
SHIELDDark blue and gold are colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy and are symbolic of the sea and of excellence. The sword, a symbol of nautical boldness and courage, alludes to the presentation of a sword by the US Congress to Midshipman Thorn for his exploits during the Tripolitan War. The crossed cannon represent both the battles of the Tripolitan War and those participated in by a previous USS Thorn (DD-647) in World War II. The orle of mullets (border of stars) refers to seven battle stars awarded to the previous USS THORN for her service during World War II.
The porcupine embodies the qualities expressed in the ship's motto "SHARPLY PERSEVERANT" it being a creature well able to defend itself against attack by the use of its sharp quills, thus symbolizing the capabilities of the USS THORN.