President Donald Trump and senior military officials unveiled the official U.S. Space Force flag to help commemorate the military's first new branch in 72 years. The flag features the same logo revealed in January, even though the logo was widely mocked for its similarity to the beloved Star Trek logo. During Friday's ceremony at the Oval Office, Trump also touted a "super-duper missile" that could arrive at targets faster than nuclear weapons.
Trump was joined by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Roger Towberman, the new chief master sergeant of the U.S. Space Force, and Gen. Jay Raymond, the head of U.S. Space Command and the Space Force. Raymond said the delta in the middle of the logo is the "symbol that space communities use for years and years and years" while the North Star signifies the new branch's "core value" and "guiding light." "The orbit around the globe signifies the space cape colors that fuel our American way of life," he added.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Trump praised plans for a new missile that could reach a target before Russia and China's nuclear weapons, reports NBC News. "I call it the super duper missile and I heard the other night, 17 times faster than what they have right now," the president said. "Space is going to be the future, both in terms of defense and offense and so many other things and already what I'm hearing and based on reports, we're now the leader on space."
Trump called the flag's unfurling a "very special moment," adding, "We've worked very hard on this and it's so important from a defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, from every standpoint there is." Trump first directed the Department of Defense to create the Space Force in 2018, and it was officially created when he signed a $738 billion military spending bill. Its goals include protecting the U.S.' space infrastructure from adversaries, notes NPR.
"As you know, China, Russia, perhaps others, started off a lot sooner than us," Trump said Friday. "We should have started this a long time ago, but we've made up for it in spades. We have developed some of the most incredible weapons anyone's ever seen. And it's moving along very rapidly." It is not clear what missile Trump referred to as "super duper," but other world powers are reportedly creating hypersonic weapons that could move faster than the speed of sound.
Esper also spoke on Friday, praising Trump for establishing the Space Force. "With the establishment of Space Force and establishment of Space Command, the United States is now doing what it needs to do to protect our assets in space and ensure that space remains the heavens by which we not only protect America, but we sustain our economy, we sustain our commercial capabilities, we sustain Americans' way of life," he said.