USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the tenth and final Nimitz-class
supercarrier of the United States Navy. She is named for the 41st
President of the United States and former Director of Central
Intelligence George H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World
War II. Bush's callsign is Avenger, after the TBM Avenger aircraft
flown by then-Lieutenant George Bush in WWII. Construction began in
2003 at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard's Dry Dock 12
(the largest in the western hemisphere) and was completed in 2009 at
a cost of $6.2 billion. She is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk,
Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the
ship’s namesake, naval aviation, naval service, and the nation.
There are six prominent features of the seal, beginning with the 41
white stars, symbolizing the ship’s namesake (the 41st President).
The rays of light that appear on the seal’s horizon represent Bush’s
concept of a "thousand points of light", wherein he urged Americans
to find meaning and reward by serving a purpose higher than
themselves. The graphic depiction of the aircraft carrier reflects
the carrier as both a symbol and instrument of American strength as
“a force for good.” Above the carrier are the overhead profiles of a
TBM Avenger torpedo bomber (representing Bush’s days as a Navy
pilot), an F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter, and an F-35C Lightning II,
superimposed one upon the other in order of the individual
aircraft's outline size. Fouled anchors and shields, centered on
naval aviators wings, honor the ship’s namesake’s aviation history.
Finally, the motto “Freedom at Work” is adapted from Bush’s
inaugural speech, during which he said, “We know what works: Freedom
works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right.