The Federal Bureau of Investigation, more commonly known as the FBI, is an intelligence and law enforcement agency that reports to the United States Department of Justice. Originally formed on July 26, 1908 as the “Bureau of Investigation (BOI)”, the name FBI was given in 1935. Headquartered in the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, D.C, the FBI has 5 major units and 56 field offices countrywide.
The FBI logo has undergone several modifications over the years. The Department of Justice seal was used in the initial years, but its official usage was soon discarded when the first FBI seal was unveiled in 1935. It featured the agency’s name: “Federal Bureau of Investigations”, and the motto: “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity”. In 1940, a special agent named Leo Gauthier came up with a design based on an earlier Bureau ?ag that he had made. The design was promptly approved and has been the iconic FBI logo ever since.
The distinctive scales on the shield and the blue field of the seal stand for justice and morality. Moreover, the unending circle of 13 stars depicts unity of purpose as crystallized by the original 13 states. The laurel leaf is a symbol of preeminence and renown and the 46 leaves equally divided in the two branches are representative of the 46 states which were part of the union when the FBI was established in 1908.
The red color in the FBI logo depicts bravery, valor and power, whereas the white color symbolizes perfection, truth and peace.
Just like the American ?ag, the red bars exceed the white by one. The peaked beveled edge that confines the seal typifies the serious challenges faced by the FBI as well as the immense strength of the agency. On the other hand, the gold color expresses the grandness of the FBI’s history and mission.