Our full name is “The International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL”, which is abbreviated to "ICPO–INTERPOL".
For general communications purposes, we just say INTERPOL. It is an abbreviation of "international police" and it was chosen in 1946 as a telegraphic address.
Until 1956, we were the International Criminal Police Commission.
The emblem, in use since 1950, comprises the following elements:
- The globe, to indicate that our activities are worldwide;
- Olive branches symbolizing peace;
- Scales symbolizing justice;
- A vertical sword, symbolizing police action;
- The name "INTERPOL";
- The abbreviation "ICPO" and its French equivalent "OIPC".
For communications purposes today, we use the ‘logo’ which is a combination of our name and our emblem. It is a single-colour image, generally used in blue, black or white.
We have a flag, which is used for protocol and events, and dates back to 1950. It has a light-blue background, with the emblem in the centre, and four lightning flashes which symbolize telecommunications and speed in police action.
As an international organization, INTERPOL's full and abbreviated name, emblem and flag are protected under the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Under the terms of Article 6 of this Convention, which has been ratified by the majority of INTERPOL's member countries, the signatory countries have agreed to refuse registration and prohibit the use of marks which contain without authorization armorial bearings, flags, other emblems, abbreviations and names of states and intergovernmental organizations.
The emblem and the name have also been registered as European Community and US trademarks.
Authorization for use
As a general rule, we use the logo for all communications and do not authorize use of the emblem or flag for this purpose.
The use of INTERPOL’s full and abbreviated name, emblem and flag by external entities is only permitted in exceptional cases and is subject to certain conditions.
Any external entity wishing to use INTERPOL’s full or abbreviated name, emblem, logo or flag needs to first secure INTERPOL’s authorization in writing. This authorization will be subject to certain terms and conditions, which we will specify, for example:
- Authorization is only given for specifically identified projects and for specified durations.
- Authorization does not grant any exclusive rights and no modification of the name emblem, logo or flag is permitted.
- Any use and reproduction of the logo should comply with INTERPOL’s Visual Identity Policy and other rules in force.
- Where authorization has been granted by INTERPOL, any documents, films, etc. showing INTERPOL’s name, logo, emblem or flag should be submitted to INTERPOL for our approval before being released to the public.
INTERPOL may automatically revoke its authorization to use its name, emblem, logo or flag if we believe that such use is likely to be detrimental to our reputation or image.
In defined cases, the INTERPOL logo can be used alongside a third-party logo – for example, from other organizations, ministries or police administrations – when co-organizing an event or producing a publication about a joint project.
Please contact our Communications Office on the following:
- More information on the use of INTERPOL’s name, emblem, logo or flag;
- Information on co-branding;
- To request a copy of the logo;
- To request a copy of the Organization’s Visual Identity Policy.