Name and logo
Official name and abbreviations
The Organization's official name is "ICPO–INTERPOL".
The official abbreviation "ICPO" stands for 'International Criminal Police Organization'. In French this is "O.I.P.C.", which stands for "Organisation internationale de police criminelle".
The word "INTERPOL" is a contraction of "international police", and was chosen in 1946 as the telegraphic address.
Until 1956, the Organization was known as the International Criminal Police Commission.
The emblem, in use since 1950, comprises the following elements:
- A representation of the globe, to indicate that INTERPOL's activities are worldwide;
- Olive branches either side of the globe to symbolize peace;
- The name "INTERPOL" below the globe in the centre of the olive branches;
- A vertical sword behind the globe, symbolizing police action.
- The abbreviations "OIPC" and "ICPO" above the globe either side of the sword;
- The scales below the olive branches symbolize justice.
The flag has been in use since 1950.
- It has a light-blue background;
- The emblem is in the centre;
- The four lightning flashes arranged symmetrically around the emblem symbolize telecommunications and speed in police action.
Protection of INTERPOL's distinctive signs
As an international organization, INTERPOL's distinctive signs are protected by 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 Organization's emblem and the name "INTERPOL" have, in addition, been registered as European Community and US trademarks.
Authorization to use INTERPOL's distinctive signs
The use of INTERPOL’s name and logo by external organizations for promotional purposes is only permitted in exceptional cases and is subject to certain conditions, outlined in the Directives for the use of INTERPOL's name, initials and emblem/logo(s).
Authorization to use the Organization's distinctive signs is limited:
- Authorization is given for a specific, identified project;
- The duration of the authorization is specified;
- Authorization does not confer any exclusive rights.
The signs may not be modified or adapted and, where appropriate, the media (documents, films, etc.) must be submitted to the Organization for approval before publication.
INTERPOL may automatically revoke the entitlement to use its distinctive signs if it transpires that the project is likely to prejudice its 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 the INTERPOL Communications Office for the following:
- More information on the use of the logo;
- Information on co-branding;
- To request a copy of the logo;
- To request a copy of the Organization’s Visual Identity Policy.