SHIELDPer chevron crenelleé Gules and Azure fimbriated Argent, in base two bayonets in saltire points to chief surmounted by a Doric column in perspective of the third.
From a wreath Argent and Gules, a heraldic unicorn head Proper erased and gorged Gules charged by a cinquefoil pierced ermine.
The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white circular field within a dark blue designation band, edged gold with a chain border and bearing the name “USCGC HAMILTON” at top and “WMSL 753” at base.
SHIELDThe two colors which divide the field (the USCG colors of blue and red) represent the two most dramatic aspects of Alexander Hamilton’s life: military and civilian. The white demarcation line is a virtual diagram of the tactical trenches converging on the British redoubt #10, the fortification at Yorktown that Hamilton and his men overran in a night assault with only their bayonets fixed to empty muskets. Surmounting the crossed bayonets is a Doric column which symbolizes Hamilton’s service as the first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789-1795, laying the foundation of the U.S. economic system and starting the Revenue Cutter Service, precursor to today’s United States Coast Guard.
The ermine cinquefoil is the principal charge on the Hamilton coat of arms and is worn by a unicorn, one of the symbols taken from the famous hand-carved powder horn Hamilton owned his whole life. The unicorn is symbolic of hopes and aspirations.
The motto, “Vigilant Sentinel,” is derived from a quote of Alexander Hamilton’s in the Federalist Papers, 27 November 1787: “A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrance of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the law.”