The U.S. Navy has approved the design of the official crest for a new submarine that will be named after South Dakota. The USS South Dakota (SSN 790) is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
The symbol includes Mount Rushmore, pheasant feathers, coyotes, wheat and a sun shape used in 1909 on the state’s original flag.
“I think the crest is an awesome representation of South Dakota’s fighting spirit, heritage and history,” says Committee Chairwoman and retired Navy Captain Debra Bodenstedt. “We’ve been working for nearly a year to develop the crest. Crew members, along with a wide variety of volunteers, have contributed. We couldn’t be happier with the final design.”
Earlier this year, 72 students and adults across South Dakota participated in a contest to design the symbol. The crew and Commanding Officer then finalized the design using elements suggested by the finalists. The crest was then approved by the submarine’s chain of command.
“One of the most identifying symbols of our ship is our crest. It provides the crew with an identity and serves as a symbol of our mission and culture,” says Commanding Officer Ron Withrow, Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790). ”The crest will be used in a wide variety of ways including flags, hats and banners.”