The design used on the shield of the Air Force Seal is entirely borrowed from the heraldic representation of the mythological thunderbolt, also called “Jupiter’s thunderbolt”.
Jupiter was the God of the Heavens in the Roman mythology. At the honor point of the shield there is a lightning bolt or oblong projectile-like mass, understood as the missile cast to earth in the lightning flash.
The word “thunderbolt” – a flash of lightning with a simultaneous crash of thunder – is derived from the idea that lightning was a bolt thrown to earth by god.
The emblem is completed by a pair of wings and smaller lightning flashes surrounding the thunderbolt.
The predominant colors of the emblem – silver and ultramarine blue – are the Air Force’s colors as carried down from the Air Corps.
The stars symbolize the original states, and the bald eagle is the symbol of the USA and of air striking power.
The shield is divided by a nebula line formation, representing clouds, and the heraldic thunderbolt represents striking power in the medium of air.
The eagle’s head, turned to the right, symbolizes facing the enemy, looking to the future and not dwelling on the past.
The entire symbolism of the dog tag is as follows:
The predominant colors, ultramarine blue and silver, are the colors of the Air Force, transited from the Air Corps.
The stars stay for the Original Colonies of the United States.
The crest holds the American Bald Eagle, which is the symbol of the United States and air striking power.
The cloud formation depicts the creation of a new vault of heaven, and the wreath of six alternate folds of silver and blue incorporate the colors of the basic shield design.
The shield, divided with the nebuly line formation, representing clouds, is charged with the heraldic thunderbolt. The thunderbolt portrays striking power through the medium of air.
The Roman numerals beneath the shield indicate the year 1947, in which the Department of the Air Force was established.
On a band encircling the whole is the inscription “Air Force” and “United States”.