No, Trump Did Not Rip-Off Star Trek For His Space Force Logo
The Trump administration is filled to the brim with plagiarists. I detailed that fact in an article back in May 2017. Melania stole pretty much her entire identity as a First Lady (along with plenty of actual written words) from Michelle Obama. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos plagiarized written responses during her confirmation hearing. Trump himself wrote an op-ed that ripped off entire passages from another op-ed written by his current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. And that's not even the half of it. There are plagiarists all up and down his administration. Given this track record, you might assume the insignia for the recently established Space Force is a blatant rip-off of Starfleet's from Star Trek. Because it is. Sort of. But it's not the fault of this administration.
The Space Force itself is a small part of the Air Force that was split off and turned into the official sixth branch of the U.S. military. Before its promotion to the big leagues, it was known as Air Force Space Command. Their logo looked like this:
The arrowhead shape (or "Delta" as it likes to be called, when it feels fancy) set over a globe for Trump's Space Force is just an updated version of the old Air Force Space Command insignia. Since Space Command has had virtually the same logo since its inception in September 1982, it's safe to say that the Trump administration -- while still rife with plagiarists -- didn't turn to Star Trek for inspiration. These aren't Deep Dorks. Don't give them that much credit.
However, the upward-facing Starfleet delta had already been established in Star Trek canon by 1964. So in this case, it's not the Trump administration plagiarizing (which they totally do otherwise); it's the professional space nerds who have been ripping off Star Trek for decades. But going back even further, you'll find that the 'delta over a globe' used in Trek was itself inspired by an early NASA logo created back in 1959 -- five years before the first episode of Star Trek ever aired.
Star Trek and the U.S. government's space agencies have all been stealing from each other for decades, and will likely continue to do so. If you want to condemn the Trump administration, stick to real grievances. There are so very many. You are spoiled for choice.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!