The Ship's Seal
Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the ship’s namesake, naval aviation, naval service, and our great nation. There are six prominent features of the seal, beginning with the 41 white stars.
These stars symbolize our namesake and the nation’s 41st president, the Honorable George H.W. Bush. After taking the executive oath of office, with his hand on the same Bible George Washington used in 1789, President Bush inspired us to use power to help people.
Rays of light that appear on the seal’s horizon represent President Bush’s concept of a thousand points of light. He urged us to find meaning and reward by serving a purpose higher than ourselves, to imbue the timeless ideas of “duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.” The crew of CVN 77 stands ready every day and takes pride in pitching in.
The graphic depiction of the aircraft carrier reflects the carrier as both a symbol and instrument of American strength as “a force for good.” Bridging the past, present, and future of naval aviation are the overhead profiles of the TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, the F-18 Hornet strike fighter, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Avenger was selected for its relevance to President Bush’s days as a Navy pilot.
The fouled anchors and shields, as seen centered on naval aviators wings, honor our namesake’s aviation history. The youngest pilot in the Navy when he earned his wings, he later flew an Avenger bomber during World War II. During one combat mission, his aircraft received heavy anti-aircraft fire. Although his plane was afire and severely damaged, he courageously completed his strafing run before heading out to sea, where he bailed out and was rescued by a Navy submarine, USS FINBACK.
Finally, the motto “Freedom at Work” is adapted from President Bush’s inaugural speech, during which he said, “We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right.” USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH and its crew, proud to serve a higher purpose, are the finest examples of Freedom at Work.