Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump unveiled the logo of Space Force on Friday, attracting critics who said America's newest military branch had boldly gone where Star Trek went before.
With a central symbol resembling an arrowhead, ringed by an orbiting object and set to a starry backdrop, many users argued the design was pilfered from the famous science fiction franchise.
But a spokesman for the branch hit back, arguing the "Delta" emblem had been used by Air Force space organizations as early as 1961, before the first Star Trek show aired.
"After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!" wrote Trump of the branch that he championed and which came into being in December 2019.
It drew immediate mockery among social media users.
"Should've been consulting with Gene Roddenberry's lawyers," said the popular "Pourmecoffee" account, referring to the late screenwriter and producer of Star Trek's original series and its first spin-off, "The Next Generation."
The logo bears an uncanny resemblance to the insignia of Starfleet -- the peacekeeping and exploration force of the United Federation of Planets alliance, which is headquartered on Earth whose adversaries include Klingons and Romulans.
It has appeared as a pin on the uniforms of iconic Star Trek characters such as Captain Kirk and Spock ever since the original series debuted in 1966, and continues to feature in the franchise's current shows and movies.
Star Trek has indeed a long history of influencing real world innovations from tablet computers to needle-free medicine injectors and real time translators.
A US Space Force spokesperson however said the critics were being highly illogical.
"The delta symbol, the central design element in the seal, was first used as early as 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Forces; and was used in early Air Force space organization emblems dating back to 1961," the spokesperson said.