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Understanding The Los Angeles City Seal

June 11, 1988

The Los Angeles city seal was designed by Herbert L. Goudge, a deputy city attorney, and adopted in 1905. It has six components:

The sprays of olives, grapes and oranges represent Los Angeles as a city set in a garden.

The Bear Flag represents the brief California Republic of 1846.

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 rosary surrounding the shield symbolizes the religious background of early California.

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

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

Source: Municipal Reference Library

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