The Coast Guard originally started maritime service in August 1790. Today’s Coast Guard is a combination of five original groups — Revenue Cutter Service, Lighthouse Service, Bureau of Navigation, Lifesaving Service and the Steamboat Inspection Service that protect the American public, economic and environmental interests.
The sixteen stripes symbolize the sixteen states in the union at the time the emblem was adopted in 1799. “Semper Paratus” is the motto of the Coast Guard. No one is actually sure when the motto was first used in relation to the Coast Guard but the words date back to ancient times and mean “always ready” or “ever ready”.