Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, left, watches Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman holds the United States Space Force…
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, left, watches Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman hold the United States Space Force flag as it is presented in the Oval Office of the White House, May 15, 2020, in Washington.

The new Space Force flag was unveiled Friday at the White House, the nation's first new military service flag in more than 70 years.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the unveiling a “historic moment” for the future of space defense.

“Our adversaries in the last several years have weaponized space. They’ve made it a warfighting domain,” Esper said. “The U.S. is now doing what it needs to do to protect our assets in space.”

The delta symbol in the center of the black Space Force flag is one that the U.S. space defense community has used for years.

“The North Star signifies our core value, our guiding light, and the orbit around the globe signifies the space capabilities that fuel our American way of life and our American way of war,” U.S. Space Force Chief General John Raymond explained during the unveiling.

Russia and China have recently placed a greater emphasis on their space capabilities, including developing technology and weapons that could disrupt or destroy satellites. Iran and North Korea have less-developed capabilities, but they still pose a threat, according to defense officials.

The realm of space is essential to everyday activities from navigation to banking. Space assets are also critical to military missions, from launching missiles to collecting intelligence.

“Most Americans, before their first cup of coffee in the morning, have used space,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said Friday at the unveiling. “It’s vulnerable, and we need to up our game.”