coast guard

Carteret County observed its 3-year anniversary as an official Coast Guard Community this summer with the dedication of new signage, strategically located adjacent to primary roadways leading into the county.

County commissioners and officials from the US Coast Guard participated in a brief ceremony June 28 at the new marker along Route 58 in Stella in the northwestern section of the county.

The new signs contain the words: “Carteret County: An Official Coast Guard Community.”

Graphics include the county government seal and the Coast Guard logo. The look is both clean and colorful, as red is a dominant color for both the county and Coast Guard marks.

The new signs were also designed to complement the existing “Welcome to the Crystal Coast” message and are mounted to the same posts.

The Commandant of the Coast Guard signed the document designating Carteret County as a Coast Guard Community on July 7, 2015, as only the second county in the nation to be so proclaimed. Camden County, Ga., earned the distinction as the first on Jan. 23, 2014. There are 22 municipalities across the country that have been declared Coast Guard Cities. These include two in North Carolina – Wilmington (July 25, 2003) and Elizabeth City (May 29, 2015).

The program recognizes those cities and counties that make “special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the Coast Guard men and women assigned to their area. Making Coast Guard men and women and their families feel at home in their home-away-from-home is an invaluable contribution to morale and service excellence. The Coast Guard is pleased to recognize those communities that have extended so many considerations to the Coast Guard family and their dependents.”

The Carteret County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and its Military Affairs Committee took responsibility for compiling all the materials to meet the filing requirements, and it made sense for the Carteret County government to be the entity that submitted the application, because the Coast Guard has stations and personnel at Fort Macon beyond the Town of Atlantic Beach and at Emerald Isle.

Separately, a major Coast Guard Appreciation Day event is planned for Saturday, Aug. 18, on Harkers Island. A parade begins at 11am, followed by a luncheon and recognition program at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center.

The guest of honor will be Ira Lewis, a retired Coast Guard Chief. (He was born Aug. 2, 1918). For more information, contact the museum at 252-728-1500 or

Coast Guard Image Was Concern of JFK

The graphic identity of today’s Coast Guard began to take shape in 1963, during meetings between President John F. Kennedy and industrial designer Raymond Loewy of France.

Loewy had moved to New York City as a young man and found work as a window designer for department stores, including Macy’s, Wanamaker’s and Saks in addition to working as a fashion illustrator for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines. In 1929, he received his first industrial-design commission to contemporize the appearance of a duplicating machine by Gestetner.

As his reputation grew and as he was commissioned by more and more major clients, the news media began to refer to Loewy as “The Man Who Shaped America” and “The Father of Industrial Design.”

With a little nudge from the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the president selected Loewy to re-design the interior of the presidential jet Air Force One.

“Loewy’s sketches for a new Air Force One design won immediate praise from the Kennedys and the press, and the aircraft became an important symbol of the president and the United States in official visits, both domestic and overseas,” wrote Diana Honings of the Coast Guard.

On May 13 and 14, 1963, Kennedy and Loewy “discussed improving the visual image of the federal government, and Kennedy suggested the Coast Guard as an appropriate agency to start with. Soon after, the design firm of Raymond Loewy-William Snaith received a contract,” Honings wrote.

President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, but Loewy’s work continued and the firm’s findings were presented to Coast Guard leadership in January 1964.

“Loewy recommended the Coast Guard adopt an identification device like a commercial trademark. The firm believed the symbol must be easily identifiable from a distance, easily differentiated from other government or commercial emblems and easily adapted to a wide variety of vessels and aircraft,” Honings said.

Finally, in March 1965, the Coast Guard brass agreed to proceed with development of the IVIS (Integrated Visual Identification System), which resulted in a wide red bar to the upper right of a narrow blue bar canted at 64 degrees and running from right to lower left. The traditional Coast Guard emblem was placed in the center of the red bar. The overall design came to be known as the “Racing Stripe” or “Slash” emblem.

After extensive prototyping in Florida, and some tweaking, the Commandant ordered on April 6, 1967, “service-wide implementation.”

That alone was a lengthy process, and the Coast Guard’s Barque Tall Ship Eagle was last asset to receive the Racing Stripe, taking on the emblem in 1976, just prior to Operation Sail to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial.

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