1997 Factbook on Intelligence

The CIA Seal

Interpretation of the CIA Seal

The American Eagle is the national bird and is a symbol
of strength and alertness.

The radiating spokes of the compass rose depict
the coverage of intelligence data from all areas of the world
to a central point.

Section 2 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 provided for a seal of office for CIA. The design of the seal was approved and set forth on 17 February 1950 in President Harry Truman's Executive Order 10111.

In this Order, the CIA seal is described in heraldic terms as follows:

Below the shield on a gold color scroll the inscription "United States of America" in red letters and encircling the shield and crest at the top the inscription "Central Intelligence Agency" in white letters.

All on a circular blue background with a narrow gold edge.