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Muskogee Composite Squadron Heraldry (OK024)




Purpose: To establish and maintain compliance with CAP heraldic standards for unit emblems as established in CAPR 110-3, Civil Air Patrol Heraldry Program.

Historical Significance: Muskogee Nighthawks is a legacy squadron formed during the earliest days of the corporation. The unit adopted the night hawk as it came to realize that it flew the majority of search and rescue missions at night. The hawk has superb flying and hunting abilities which are synonymous with the emergency locator transmitter search mentality.

Heraldry: The components of this new design and their symbolism are described below.

Three White Stars: Stars represent constellations such as the GPS constellation that aid in navigation. The unit performs many night missions and relies on the celestial body for orientation. The stars on the left side also represent the three programs of Civil Air Patrol. In addition, the stars are a euphemism of the wingman concept of looking out for each other. The color white with a heraldic name of “Argent” represents truth and peace.

The Hawk: The hawk represents an expert aviator and hunter. In heraldry the hawk is frequently found in the coats of arms of nobility, from the time when the hawk played an important role in the sport of kings and nobles. It is found as a heraldic bearing as early as the reign of King Edward II of England. A venerable symbol of majesty and power, heraldic writers add that the falcon or hawk, denotes someone eager, or hot in the pursuit of an object much desired; a person of action, one who does not rest until they have achieved their objective.

The hawk is depicted in black with gold accents. Black has a heraldic name of “Sable” and represents wisdom, constancy and prudence. The hawk’s gold accents are shown as yellow. Yellow represents the metal gold and has the heraldic name of “Or.” It characterizes the squadrons generosity of service and openness to all peoples.

Eye of the Raptor: Birds of prey have some of the best eyes in the animal kingdom. Their eyes are forward-facing, which gives them excellent binocular vision. The eye is represented by the color maroon. Maroon, a variation of red, with a heraldic name of “Gyoolz,” represents strength, determination and courage. The heraldic color of maroon red represents a leader. It honors the squadron’s commitment to leading people and managing things. When people are led to greatness, the team is strengthened and the unit flourishes. 

Feathers: In heraldry feathers are a sign of willing obedience and serenity of mind. The Nighthawks emblem contains four blue feathers which are representative of the four Core Values of Civil Air Patrol: Integrity, Volunteer Service, and Excellence and Respect. Blue has the heraldic name of “Az-yoor” and represents loyalty, strength of commitments and ties.

Done on this day, the twentieth day of August, two thousand twenty-one and of the Independence of the United States of America, two hundred and forty-five.

Design and Artwork: Capt. Brandon W. Lunsford, Sr

Reviewed by NHQ Historian Staff: Maj. Timothy Thornton, 20 Aug 2021

Coordinated Through Oklahoma Wing Commander: Col. Aaron E. Oliver, 20 Aug 2021

Approved by Southwest Region Commander: Col Martha C. Morris, 20 Aug 2021

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