The OSS Shield was originally developed for the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (Command) but the LtGen commanding the parent command both hated the center (despite it's being the Commandant's initiative) and had no sense of heraldry.
E Veritate Potens is the motto, “From Truth, Power,” with a tip of the hat for the correct translation to Winston Maiki of Australia (RIP), the one person outside of Singapore that “got it” when we made our world tour in 1994. The incorrect translation by Robert Steele, Ex Veritate Potens, was devised from a mix of the US Naval Academy motto (Ex Sciencia Tridens or loosely, From Science, Seapower) and the motto of the Central Intelligence Agency from John 8:32, Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
MCIC was created because then Commandant of the Marine Corps Al Gray understood that the other services were both cheating on acquisitions–fabricating and exaggerating threats to get bigger, fancier, more complex and much more expensive systems than the Marine Corps needed or could afford–and also not at all interested in the real-world threat, which he accurately portrayed in “Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990's” as published in the American Intelligence Journal (Winter 1989-1990). INTEGRITY. We are waiting for DIA to dig deep and find its integrity, or defense intelligence is going to go down the rabbit hole along with CIA, NSA, and the NRO. NGA can be saved.
The elements of the shield are straight-forward:
Candle: The “Golden Candle Award” is based on this element of the shield, shild represents the search for truth as a form of fulfillfilment, a form of power for the good, not power for the sake of power.
Compass Rose: This represents the Marine Corps (and OSS) commitment to being relevant and responsive “in every clime and place,” as well as the naval tradition including our most recent concept, “Peace from the Sea.”
Great Game: The chess motif from left to right represents “The Great Game” of nations, tribes, races and religions. Humanity has its own dynamic, and overly-technical intelligence services will never be effective at The Great Game.
Three Roses with Thorns: These represent the three worlds–First, Second, and Third, as well as the implicit concept of “sub rosa” or “beneath the rose,” which is both a Catholic mafia and an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and clandestine service concept for secrecy or discretion.
Revolution: The Chinese symbol for Revolution, inspired in part by Robert Steele's first graduate thesis on predicting and remediating revolution, symbolizes the essence of intelligence: understanding all of the forces that will inevitably combine to create revolutions. Those who remain static join the mammoths in the tar-pit of history.
Red Lion: Traditionally symbolizing bravery, valour, strength, and royalty, since traditionally, it is regarded as the king of beasts, this was selected to represent the pride of place that the US Marine Corps enjoys as the Nation's 9-1-1 force, as the only combined-arms force for power projection, and in a subtle way, to represent the moral authority that can only be earned through noblesse oblige. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term “suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility.”
Should there one day be an international Open Source Agency or Network, this shield will be available to that organization, be it US or multinational in nature.
Truth is a non-negotiable foundation for everything else–as the philosophers suggest, “truth at any price” must preceed and be the foundation for philosophy, politics, economics, and so on. When secret worlds try to “influence” or to manipulate the truth, they are sowing the seeds for their own immolation. When they stand idly by as politicians manipulate the try or tell known lies (935 in Dick Cheney's case) they are betraying the public trust. INTEGRITY.
E Veritate Potens — From Truth, We the People Shall Achieve Power.