tar·​tan | \ ˈtär-tᵊn

1: a plaid textile design of Scottish origin consisting of stripes of varying width and color usually patterned to designate a distinctive clan

The USMMA Clan tartan was designed by Mike Miller (KP '77). The tartan comprises four colors, each with special significance to the Academy. The tartan's primary fields are the Academy's school colors, in shades of Ocean Blue and Haze Grey. The intervening squares of the pattern take on a blue-grey tone, suggesting the storm clouds of World War II, when the Academy was born. Crossing the grey are bands of maroon, representing the Battle Standard (battle flag) and the valor and sacrifice of "The 142" Midshipmen who perished during World War II- the only federal academy to send its students into battle. The US Merchant Marine Academy is the only federal academy entitled to display a battle standard, which signifies duty in war. The primary color of the Academy's battle standard is maroon. Gold is also present, representing Officers or military.