The change to the Navy logo was spotted by Twitter users on Friday, drawing mockery and accusations that the nation’s adversaries would be ‘laughing’ at the update.
The logo, a stylized version of the unofficial Navy emblem that dates back to the 1970s, shows an eagle holding an anchor in its talons. The updated version depicts a blue mask covering the eagle’s beak.
‘Why desecrate the US Navy logo with a mask? It’s a blatant show of weakness. China is laughing..’ one Twitter user wrote.
The U.S. Navy has drawn criticism for updating its Twitter bio to depict an eagle wearing a face mask in a reference to the coronavirus pandemic
‘China, Iran, and Russia are p***ing their pants laughing at us,’ wrote right-wing commentator John Cardillo.
‘This is so depressing,’ remarked Robby Starbuck, the music video director and Republican candidate for Congress.
‘The @USNavy put a mask on the Eagle on its home page. We’re doomed,’ tweeted Robert J. O’Neill, the former SEAL Team Six operator who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Navy’s twist on the logo is believed to be an attempt to emphasize the importance of personal precautions in the pandemic. The service has not yet commented on the matter.
The United States Navy Emblem was created as a substitution for the more complicated Navy Seal for unofficial purposes in the early 1970s, according to Navy documents.
So far, other service branches have not followed suit in altering their social media bio pictures, which feature also feature versions of the branches logos.
While altering bio pictures on social media to reflect an issue of the moment is a common practice on social media, the military has typically not followed suit, reflecting a more restrained approach.
However, official military accounts on social media have courted controversy in recent months with a more freewheeling style.
The United States Navy Emblem (above) was created as a substitution for the more complicated Navy Seal for unofficial purposes in the early 1970s
The version featured on Twitter is part of the Navy’s official logo scheme, seen above
Last month, an official Twitter account of the U.S. Marines has apologized for tweets lacking ‘professionalism’ after calling Fox News host Tucker Carlson a ‘boomer’ and hitting out at other critics in a debate over pregnant service members.
‘We are human and we messed up. We intended to speak up for female Marines and it was an effort to support them,’ II Marine Expeditionary Force wrote in a tweet.
‘They are a crucial part to our corps and we need them to know that. We will adjust fire and ensure the utmost professionalism in our tweets,’ the apology continued.
Senator Ted Cruz pointed to the tweets and slammed the Marines for ‘launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions.’
The Texas Republican demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the Marines, General David H. Berger, to discuss the issue.