WASHINGTON (SSN 787) is a Virginia-Class fast attack submarine and the third US Navy ship named for the State of Washington. The previous two ships to bear the name USS WASHINGTON were the World War II battleship (BB-56), decommissioned in 1947, and an armored cruiser (ACR-11) which served under the name from 1905 to 1916.
The Ship’s emblem consists of iconic images associated with the ship’s namesake or in tribute to previous WASHINGTONs: Mount Rainier, the Seattle skyline, evergreen trees, and silhouettes of the previous two WASHINGTONs blended into these images. The central image is the submarine, surging forth from the waters of the Puget Sound, emblazoned with a paint scheme reminiscent of Native American art depictions of an orca whale, the state’s official marine mammal so closely associated with the region and, like the submarine, the pinnacle predator of the deep. Along the top of the state border, 6 hollow stars represent previous naval vessels named for George Washington and 2 solid gold stars representing the ships named for the state. At the bottom, submarine dolphins, one silver and one gold to represent the enlisted and officer warfare insignia respectively, sit atop a block of battleship armor plating on which is printed the ship’s name and motto, “Preserving Peace, Prepared for War.” The motto is derived from a quote from the state’s namesake, George Washington, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” Set behind the state is a ring adorned with the official state tartan, as adopted in 1991 for the state’s centennial celebrations and officially accredited by the Scottish Tartans Society. The color scheme of the tartan is a green background for the rich forests of “The Evergreen State,” with perpendicular bands of contrasting colors symbolic of the features of the state: blue (for the lakes, rivers and ocean), white (for the snow-capped mountains), red (for the apple and cherry crops), yellow (for the wheat and grain crops), and black (for the eruption of Mount St. Helens). At the top center of the tartan ring is the ship’s hull number, “SSN 787,” split by the silhouette of George Washington.