(:", (-:", ":), and ":-) are all examples of emoticons, or text representations, for the Rebel Squadrons salute, sometimes referred to as the smiley salute. This is a casual, yet respectful manner to address fellow and superior officers within the club, for use in chat sessions, forum threads, emails, etc.
The smiley salute serves as a way to show respect to fellow members of the Rebel Squadrons without being overly formal. One advantage for its use is that it is easier and quicker to type than other methods, such as <salute>.
It was created as part of an over all effort to establish a fun atmosphere for the Rebel Squadrons. It provides a stark contrast to some other on-line game based clubs or clans, which may require more formality.
The symbol was created by FC Super in early to mid-1996. It was originally ":). However, due to the fact that instant messaging programs now convert the :) portion into a standard smiley face, thus ruining the smiley salute effect, the reversed (:" has become common.
(:" was included to Urbandictionary.com on January 16, 2009, followed by ":) later in 2009.