Two South Dakota universities are showing their pride for their state today.

The South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota football teams will be wearing the official crest of the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) on their helmet when they play each other Saturday afternoon.

The teams will wear the crest to commemorate the commissioning of South Dakota’s first Navy vessel in more than 70 years.

Featuring Mount Rushmore, pheasant feathers and coyotes, the symbol includes a wide variety of South Dakota imagery.

“I think the crest is an awesome representation of South Dakota’s fighting spirit, heritage and history,” says Committee Co-Chair and retired Navy Captain Debra Bodenstedt. 

In 2016, 72 people across South Dakota participated in a contest for the symbol with the final version having elements suggested by several of the finalists.

The crest also features 13 stars representing the 13 battles fought by the USS SOUTH DAKOTA battleship (BB 57) during World War II. It also has a rattlesnake which is meant to depict the submarine’s stealth and fast attack readiness. The boat’s motto can also be found in Latin; it means, “Under the sea we rule.”

SDSU and USD  play each other Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Brookings, South Dakota.

The USS South Dakota will be one of the newest and most innovative fast-attack submarines in the U.S. Navy fleet. The submarine will be commissioned on February 2, 2019, in Groton, Connecticut.