The Special Forces crest insignia was adopted in 1960 and approved as the Special Forces regimental designator in 1984. Its design reflects both the lineage and mission of Special Forces.
In 1890, the crossed arrows were officially prescribed as uniform insignia for the U.S. Army Indian Scouts who served in the American west from 1860 through 1939. In 1942, during World War II, a joint U.S./Canadian special operations unit was established to conduct operations behind enemy lines. Members of this First Special Service Force wore the historic crossed arrows as their branch insignia.
In the current Special Forces crest, the intersecting dagger represents the V-42 dagger issued to each member of the force. The encircling scroll which arches at the base bears the Special Forces motto, "DE OPPRESSO LIBER" which is translated from Latin as "To Free the Oppressed."