Argent on a bend Azure, between in sinister chief a tomahawk Gules halved Sable and an arrow of the last barbed of the third in saltire and in dexter base an eagle's claw erased Proper, three roses of the field seeded of the third, surmounted by a mural crown, the shield and crown mounted on a heavy Roman Gold boss figure in high relief. The overall height of the insignia is 1 5/32 inches (2.94 cm).
The shield is silver (white) with a blue bend, the Infantry colors. The three heraldic flowers on the bend are symbolic of: first, the rose, the flower of the state of New York, where the regimental headquarters was first organized; second, the hispida, the flower of the Philippines, where the regiment saw service during the Insurrection; and third, the temple flower, which is the flower of Cuba, where the 8th served during the War with Spain. The arrow and tomahawk represent the Indian campaigns in which the regiment has participated. The claw representing the maimed strength of the Prussian eagle alludes to the regiment's part in the Occupation of Germany after World War I.
The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 5 November 1923. It was amended to correct the description on 28 April 1925.