Heraldry of the ATF Seal
On the Escutcheon or shield – the sign of a defender – is a Chief of Sanguine (deep red), which indicates the bearer of the shield (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), through its achievements, has authority and wisdom. The sanguine color of the Chief represents a patient victor, one not hasty in battle. Also represented in the middle of the shield is a Chevron of Azure. This Chevron denotes protection and service, and the azure color represents strength and loyalty. Combined, they indicate ATF’s strength, loyalty, service and protection to Justice, depicted by the Scales of Justice below the Chevron. The Chevron of Azure also represents the past relationship between ATF and the Department of the Treasury.
The Escutcheon stands on a field of deeper blue representing vigilance, perseverance and justice and is surrounded by a Laurel of Or (gold), symbolic of victory, and crowned by three Mullets, or stars, of Or.
Around the Seal is the name of the Bureau, and at the base, the year 1972, when the Bureau was founded. The Seal is contained within a corded edge.
The Mullets and the corded edge encasing the full seal are elements drawn from the Department of Justice seal and represent the new inclusion of ATF within DOJ.
The Seal, as described above, was carefully designed to represent the Bureau’s dedication to and accomplishments in achieving patient victory in defense of Justice, as well as the interrelationship between ATF, The Department of the Treasury and The Department of Justice.