Upon a white disc, a medium blue shield with a silver border bearing the continents of North and South America in white between a diagonally crossed torch and sword in proper colors and a red Maltese cross and below a black scroll garnished and inscribed “LIBERTAD PAZ Y FRATERNIDAD” in white; all enclosed by a blue designation band, edged yellow, inscribed “WESTERN HEMISPHERE INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY COOPERATION” at top and “DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE” between two yellow bullets at bottom.
Medium blue is the color traditionally used by Department of Defense organizations. The American continents highlight the Western Hemisphere and represent the organization’s mission to provide education and training to eligible personnel of nations of the Western Hemisphere. The colors blue and white and the Maltese cross, the insignia of Columbus during his explorations of the Caribbean Sea, represents the heritage of security cooperation of the Western Hemisphere. The motto LIBERTAD PAZ Y FRATERNIDAD refers to the founding principles of the Organization of American States to build a brotherhood of nations that mutually agree to cooperate in seeking peace and prosperity while defending the Western Hemisphere from any forces with contrasting goals. The motto also recognizes the freedom from oppression while seeking the fundamental liberties and natural rights enumerated in the constitutions of all democratic nations. The crossed torch and sword represent knowledge and military preparedness, highlighting the organization’s mission. The seal was approved December 13, 2000.