Official Crest

The PCU SOUTH DAKOTA has finalized the design of the official crest for the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790). The new symbol includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history, including:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the state’s iconic destination and our nation’s Shrine of Democracy
  • Pheasant feathers representing the state bird
  • Coyotes, the state animal and a symbol used by Native American tribes
  • A sun shape used on the original 1909 South Dakota state flag
  • 13 stars representing the 13 battles fought by the USS SOUTH DAKOTA battleship during World War II
  • A T-Rex skull (hidden around Mt. Rushmore), a reference to “Sue” – the largest and most complete T-Rex Skelton found in South Dakota
  • A rattlesnake depicting stealth and fast attack readiness
  • The boat’s motto (in Latin), “Under the sea we rule”

In 2016, 72 students and adults across South Dakota participated in a contest to design the crest. The Commissioning Committee used many of the elements from the contest finalists in the final design. The Commander and Crew of the boat, as well as the PCU SOUTH DAKOTA Commissioning Committee wish to thank all those who participated in the crest contest.