Instead of more flags, today I’ll discuss the four branches of the Imperial military and their insignia (i.e., badges).
By far the largest branch, the Imperial Navy has hundreds of warships throughout the Imperium, most organized into fleets and task forces. The Guardian Fleet is the most famous, standing immediately across the border from the Magna Supremacy. It has seen the most action due to the three wars fought between the Imperium and the Magna.
The insignia for the Imperial Navy consists of the Imperial emblem at the center flanked by wings on either side. A crown of five stars, representing the Five Families, raises across the top while the naval motto, Pluvia ignis (“Rain of Fire”) lies below.
While arguably not as prestigious as their naval counterpart, the Army remains the cornerstone of the Imperial military, allowing the Emperor to inflict his will on external enemies and rebellious subjects alike. As for the latter, the Army has maintained a level of stability on planets like Marakata where the Draconian natives have waged a near endless insurrection since the Imperium first invaded two centuries ago.
The Army’s insignia features the Imperial emblem emblazoned on a shield with two sabers crisscrossed along the bottom. In fact, the motto for the service reads Gladius et scutum (“Sword and Shield”).
After the Imperial Navy has rained fire from orbit, but before the Army’s transports have arrived, the Imperial Marines are the first to land and fight the enemy on the surface. In addition, they perform security duties aboard naval ships and take part in boarding missions when necessary. The Marines also have more stringent enlistment requirements, making each “grunt” better trained and equipped than a typical member of the Navy or Army.
As a hybrid of both the Imperial Navy and Army, the Marine’s insignia incorporates elements from both of those branches. Their symbol uses a shield featuring the Imperial emblem at the center of unfolded wings and two crossed cutlasses. Their motto, Patet via (“Clear the Way”) represents their role in combat, to make a path for those who must follow.
Imperial Special Forces
The smallest branch of the military, the Special Forces are the elite of the elite, drawing on the best and brightest of the other branches. Their mission is to attack, often quickly and silently, high-value targets. Secrecy is always the most valued quality of those who serve, preventing the enemy from knowing when or where the Special Forces will strike.
The insignia of the Imperial Special Forces consists of the Imperial emblem, but instead of wings or a shield, a pair of lightning bolts leading to a dagger symbolizing the branches’ reputation for rapid lethality. In fact, their motto Velox mortem means “Quick Death”.