The dark blue and white colors refer to the sea with the angular green area representing the evergreen terrain of Whidbey Island, Washington, backed by blue sky. The color gold is symbolic of excellence, and the ship's wheel of gold reflects the seagoing pride and professionalism of the ship's crew. The green Maltese cross refers to the humanitarian mission of USS Whidbey (AG 141), the first ship to carry the name Whidbey. The gold crown emblazoned on red at the center of the wheel recalls the excursion under the British Crown, which explored the Pacific Northwest in the 1790's. The island in these waters is named for Lt. Joseph Whidbey who was a member of this English expedition.
The trident is the traditional symbol of sea power; however the winged trident of LSD 41 further represents the revolutionary dimension of amphibious warfare introduced by this ship. USS Whidbey Island provides a quantum improvement in the projection of power ashore with an increased capacity for vertical assault, combined with the next generation of landing craft, air cushion (LCAC). The gold and red colors of the winged trident portray the excellence and courage of those who will man the ship. The wreath of Western Hemlock, the state tree of Washington, represents the spirit of the ship's namesake, which will accompany the ship to the distant corners of the globe.
The crossed swords of the Navy and Marine Corps officers attest to the Navy/Marine Corps teamwork and leadership that are foundation and key elements for accomplishing Whidbey Island's amphibious warfare mission.
Just as amphibious forces are at the forefront of the Navy, so will Whidbey Island be in the van of the amphibious task force as the tactical advantage. "Intrepid Vanguard" embodies this fearless courage of the Sailors and Marines in service to their country aboard this ship.