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MIKE McCLEARY/Tribune Bob Wefald describes the number of elements adorning the official crest of the USS North Dakota Virginia class submarine at an unveiling ceremony held at the state Capitol in Bismarck on Friday.

The USS North Dakota now has an official crest.

The final design for the new nuclear attack submarine was unveiled Friday at the Great Hall of the State Capital building.

Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley and former district court judge Bob Wefald, chairman of the USS North Dakota committee, did the honors.

The design, which was chosen from more than 100 submissions narrowed to five finalists, incorporates numerous elements with dual meanings, symbolic of North Dakota’s diverse heritage.

The basic design of the crest is that of an arrowhead. Along either side are stalks of wheat bordered by two mottos: “Strength from the soil,” from the state motto, and “Reapers of the Deep,” the boat’s motto.

On the top of the design beneath the boat’s name, an evening sky shows the constellation Orion, the hunter, above a silhouette of the state’s first naval namesake, a battleship, asail along the horizon.

The dusky sky blends into a pair of horse heads on either side with the submarine emerging forward from a field of blue.

Beneath the boat are a pair of six-shooters, one gold to represent the 15 officers and one silver to represent the 120 sailors comprising the crew.

Wefald said the USS North Dakota is will be the first Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine with two separate tubes in its arsenal, each carrying six tomahawk cruise missiles.

A pair of crossed tomahawks split the boat’s hull number, SSN 784, on a banner across the bottom of the crest.

On the handles of the revolvers are the words “Rough” and “Rider,” representing the state’s ties to the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.

The submarine’s chief of boat, the highest-ranking enlisted officer, is Tim Preibt, a Mandan native.

The submarine, which has an estimated cost of $2.6 billion, is schedule to be christened in Groton, Conn., in 2013 and commissioned in 2014, the 125th anniversary of North Dakota’s statehood.

Reach reporter Brian Gehring 250-8254 or brian.gehring@bismarcktribune.com.

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