SHIELD Per fess enhanced Azure and Celeste and paly of three Celeste, Azure and of the second, a life ring Gules garnished Or within an orle forty-two mullets of four Argent.
From a wreath Or and Azure, a bald eagle with wings displayed and legs interlaced with an oar and a naval sword saltirewise Proper.
A scroll Azure, doubled and inscribed "GUIDANT LA VOIE" (Guiding the Way) Argent.
The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white disk enclosed by a dark blue border edged on the outside with a gold rope and inscribed "USCGC WLLIAM TATE" above and "WLM 560" below in gold.
SHIELD The charges on the shield resemble the letter "T" for Tate, the ship's namesake. William Tate, keeper of the North Landing River Lights, was responsible for maintaining a string of 42 lights stretching over 65 mile of waterway; the orle, or border, of stars represents these lights and aid to navigation. Blue, red and white are traditionally used by the Coast Guard. Light blue is adapted from the U.S. Coast Guard Seal and alludes to coastal waters, the area of operations of the cutter. The gold star within the life ring commemorates William Tate's stellar lifesaving record and outstanding service as a lighthouse keeper. The life ring symbolizes the rescue and life saving mission of the USCGC William Tate. Red denotes valor and zeal and highlights Tate as a man of action; gold is emblematic of excellence and honor.
Through his close association at Kitty Hawk with the Wright brothers, Keeper Tate became a confirmed aviation enthusiast and was the first to inspect lighted aids to navigation from the air. The vigilant and keen-eyed eagle embodies Keeper Tate as a pioneer spirit in aviation. The oar symbolizes rescue and life saving, the sword highlights the USCGC William Tate's mission to enforce U.S. Maritime laws.