A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in width overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Tenné a chevron reversed between in chief a life ring of the first and Argent, in base five Gold mullets two and three. Attached below the shield a Black scroll inscribed "CLASSIS ADHAEREO ADSTRINGO" (which is Latin for "We Stick Together") in base metal letters.
Orange and black are the school's colors. The life preserver represents the tremendous attempt to survive the sinking ship, the U.S.S. Juneau, after it was hit by a torpedo in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific on November 13, 1942. The five stars honor the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who were lost at sea during the sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau. The brothers were Albert Leo, Francis Henry, George Thomas, Joseph Eugene and Madison Abel Sullivan. The Sullivan brothers enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 3, 1942 and insisted that they stay together throughout their military service. The Navy agreed. The school's motto "Classis Adhaereo Adstringo" was used by the Sullivan brothers and is Latin for "We Stick Together." Their story was told in the 1944 movie "The Fighting Sullivan's." East High School is located about one mile from the site of the Sullivan brothers' boyhood home.
The shoulder loop insignia was approved 30 June 2005.