On a circular background of fair sky and moderate sea with land in sinister base, a three-masted square-rigged ship underway before a fair breeze with after topsail furled, commission pennant atop the foremast, National Ensign atop the main, and the commodore's flag atop the mizzen. In front of the ship a Luce-type anchor inclined slightly bendwise with the crown resting on the land and, in front of the shank and in back of the dexter fluke, an American bald eagle rising to sinister regarding to dexter, one foot on the ground, the other resting on the anchor near the shank; all in proper colors. The whole within a blue annulet bearing the inscrip tion "Department of the Navy" at top, and "United States of America" at the bottom, separated on each side by a mullet and within a rim in the form of a rope; inscription, rope, mullet, and edges of annulet all gold.
Land in the design would symbolize the Navy's supporting shore facilities as well as the fleet's amphibious strike capabilities. Since the wording "Navy Department," used on earlier seals, had generally come to signify only the headquarters activities in Washington, the inscription was changed to "Department of the Navy" in order to embrace the Navy's total world-wide operations afloat, in the air, and ashore.
The seal was to serve as the main feature of the official United States Navy flag, adopted in 1959.