CrestThe shield's wavy pale represents the San Jacinto River and also alludes to the wake of a ship. The representation of the Texas flag on the shield symbolizes the independence won by the Texans in defeating a Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The eagle, a national symbol of both Mexico and the United States, reflects Texas history and victory at San Jacinto. The armed eagle symbolizes the combat readiness of the ship as a part of a strong national defense. Dark blue, the primary color of the shield, and gold, the predominant color of the main charge, are traditionally associated with the Navy.

The crest's propeller alludes to the first USS SAN JACINTO, which was one of the United States Navy's first screw-type warships. The wings suggest the second USS SAN JACINTO (CVL 30), a light aircraft carrier. The stars on the sword denote the five battle honors awarded to the second USS SAN JACINTO for World War II service. The sword connects the present USS SAN JACINTO, with its state-of-the-art technology, to previous ships of that name.

The motto's words, "Victory is Certain", is a quote from General Sam Houston's speech as he spoke to his outnumbered men before the Battle of San Jacinto.