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Los Angeles Seal

The City Seal of Los Angeles

Q: Does the City Seal of Los Angeles, California contain Marian Content?

A. Yes, as indicated in the article "Rosary Retained in L.A. City Seal" quoted below.

"The Rosary, if there were any doubt about it, is officially and definitely a part of the seal of the City of Los Angeles. Minor variations in the city seal, including occasional omissions of the beaded circlet were ordered ended in a City Council ordinance signed January 6 by Mayor Sam Yorty. The Rosary -- ten decades at first, and the seven-decade Franciscan Crown since 1949 -- has been part of the city seal since it was adopted in March, 1905. But in recent years, some city councilmen and departments used a simplified seal in their letterheads; the beads sometimes become a solid line. Mayor Yorty wrote the city council in 1966 urging adoption of a uniform seal. The Cultural Heritage Board approved an official seal last year and sent its recommendations to the City Attorney. These were adopted in the council ordinance signed by the mayor. The Rosary or Franciscan Crown represents the Franciscan fathers who civilized and settled in much of California, according to the Mayor's office. The city shield, surrounded by the beads, includes the stars and stripes of the Unites States, the California Bear Flag, the eagle and serpent from the arms of Mexico, and the castle of Castile and lion of Leon from the arms of Spain. Sprays of olive, grape and orange suggest the location of Los Angeles as a 'city set in a garden'."

Explanation of the City Seal

The lion of Leon and the castle of Castile are from the Arms of Spain and represent Los Angeles under Spanish control from 1542 to 1821.

The eagle holding a serpent is from the Arms of Mexico and represents the period of Mexican sovereignty from 1822 to 1846.

The Bear Flag typifies the California Republic of 1846.

The Stars and Stripes indicate the present status of Los Angeles as an American City.

The sprays of olive, grape and orange suggest the location of Los Angeles as a City set in a garden

The beaded circle surrounding the shield represents a Rosary, suggesting the part played by the Mission Padres in founding the City.

Source: The Tidings (January 15, 1971)

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