Quarterly Argent and Azure, a chevron embattled Gules fimbriated of the first, a canton of the third charged with a palmetto tree and in dexter chief a crescent bendwise all Silver. Crest: On a wreath Agent and Azure a palmetto tree Or interlaced with a crescent of the first and two unsheathed cadet swords saltirewise, the blades and grips Silver and the guards and pommels Gold.
Blue and white are the colors of The Citadel, the four quarters alluding to the Honor Code of the Corps of Cadets and the four principles on which it is based. The four quarters also refer to the four battalions of the cadet regiment, the four barracks in which the cadets, by battalion, are billeted and the Fourth Class System which is the foundation of cadet conduct and discipline. The chevron, a military symbol in itself, is also symbolic of a “rooftree”. Placed over the four quarters, it symbolizes, under the jurisdiction and guidance of the staff and faculty, the molding of character and the development of mental, physical, spiritual and moral attributes which are synonymous with The Citadel and its graduates. The chevron is embattled in allusion to the Battery, Charleston and with its seven battlements refers to the eight battles in which the Corps of Cadets, as an organized unit, participated during the War Between the States. The two “arms” of the chevron also refer to the old Citadel on Marion Square and the Greater Citadel of today, (the crenellations suggesting the architecture of buildings at both locations) and to the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. An augmentation of honor consisting of a red canton bearing a palmetto tree and crescent simulates the flag displayed by a detachment of the Corps of Cadets when shelling the Union supply steamer the “Star of the West” on 9 January 1861, the first hostile fire of the War Between the States. It also commemorates all wars in which Citadel graduates have participated. The color blue is symbolic of loyalty and truth, white of unselfishness and faith, and red of leadership, zeal, devotion and courage. The palmetto tree and crescent are both South Carolina symbols. The first South Carolina flag (Moultrie 1775) was blue with a single white crescent in the upper dexter corners; a silver crescent was also worn by a number of South Carolina militia units. In 1861, a white palmetto tree was added to the crescent flag. The palmetto tree was also used as an emblem by various South Carolina military organizations, notably the Palmetto Rifles which was trained by Citadel Cadets and sent form South Carolina to fight in the Mexican War. A large gold color palmetto tree is the predominate emblem in the cap device of the Corp of Cadets. The two swords, symbolic of command, allude to duty and responsibility, and in being unsheathed and interlaced with the palmetto tree and crescent, signify the constant vigilance and readiness of the Corps of Cadets to defend its heritage.
The shoulder loop insignia was authorized 10 January 1966