19:45Lovers of mysteries, Da Vinci code freaks, and conspiracy theorists will find much to ponder over in the logo of the newly launched Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Within a circle motif, a fierce snarling beast (a panther, a puma or possibly a polar bear?) with sharp fangs and claws exposed, lunges over a representation of the globe like a kitten pouncing on a ball of wool. Above this floats a symbolic Crown. At least so it appears at first glance.
Uncharitable souls may point to the stylistic affinity of this logo with the 1980's cartoon series ThunderCats but at least the message seems clear. The fierce feline (or ursine?) creature stands for the powerful new crime busting agency itself. The fangs and claws represent its "21st Century Powers". The globe is there to symbolise the agency's world wide reach. The crown above is intended to reassure us that this fearsome new force is under the control of the Crown in the person of Her Majesty's Secretary of State. So far so good. But is it just a crown? Look more closely.
Deconstruction of the symbolic "crown" shows it to be made up of at least two distinct elements. Firstly there is a background consisting of a grey pentagon. Overlaying this is a distorted black Maltese Cross at a 45 degree angle. Two of the arms of the black Maltese Cross and the top point of the grey pentagon unite to form the international "radioactive danger" symbol and beneath this, parallel to the base of the pentagon, is a ruled line.
What can all this mean? In many minds the pentagon symbol is indissolubly linked with the military-industrial complex of the United States. But what of the Maltese Cross, the radiation symbol and the line that has been drawn under all of this. Who can say? Plenty of work for the decoding buffs here, so I offer no more than a possibly irrelevant observation. No less an authority, the web site "New World Order" asserts that "The unusually shaped Cross of Malta was the original emblem of the controversial Knights Templar" and that this cross is "a cryptogram for the Goat of Mendes, the androgenous Templar idol Baphomet, representing the goat's beard and horns".
On a more prosaic note it may be interesting to know how much the logo cost. We'll try to let you know - unless that information is for understandable reasons an official secret.