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Los Angeles County Seal - History

Seal of the County of Los Angeles, Adopted September 14, 2004

Los Angeles County Seal

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This seal, based upon the previous seal, was adopted by a majority of the Board of Supervisors on September 14, 2004, after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened a lawsuit over the presence of a cross in the previous seal. The cross, the goddess Pomona, and the oil derricks were removed and/or replaced.

  • The Native American woman represents the early inhabitants of the Los Angeles Basin, standing on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
  • The engineering instruments (the triangle and caliper) represent the county's industrial-construction complex of the .
  • The Spanish galleon represents the San Salvador, the vessel commanded by Juan Cabrillo that sailed into San Pedro Harbor on October 8, 1542.
  • The tuna represents the fishing industry of the county
  • The championship cow, Pearlette, represents the dairy industry.
  • The Hollywood Bowl represents county cultural activities, with two stars representing the motion picture and television industries.
  • The Mission San Gabriel represents the historic role of the missions in the settlement of the Los Angeles region.

Seal of the County of Los Angeles, Adopted March 1, 1957

Los Angeles County Seal, 1957

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This seal was designed by by former Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and drawn by Millard Sheets. It was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on January 2, 1957 and became effective on March 1, 1957.

  • The Goddess Pomona, goddess of gardens and fruit trees, holding in her arms a sheaf of grain, an orange, a lemon, an avocado and a few grapes, represents the county's agriculture. She stands on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
  • The engineering instruments (the triangle and caliper) represent the county's industrial-construction complex of the .
  • The Spanish galleon represents the San Salvador, the vessel commanded by Juan Cabrillo that sailed into San Pedro Harbor on October 8, 1542.
  • The tuna represents the fishing industry of the county
  • The championship cow, Pearlette, represents the dairy industry.
  • The Hollywood Bowl represents county cultural activities, with two stars representing the motion picture and television industries and the cross representing the influence of the church and missions of California.
  • The oil derricks represents the oil fields discovered on Signal Hill.

Insignia of the County of Los Angeles (for use on county vehicles), Approved August 15, 1939

Los Angeles County Seal, 1939

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This version never actually became the official county seal, but rather an insignia to be displayed on county vehicles (as today the official seal is displayed on county vehicles). On June 13, 1939, on motion of Los Angeles County Supervisor Oscar L. Hauge, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution ordering that "all county cars be suitably labeled by an appropriate insignia; that said insignia should be in keeping with the dignity and the importance of the County of Los Angeles; and said insignia should depict and properly display commerce, shipping, agriculture, airplane manufacturing, the motion picture industry, the petroleum industry and recreation and use the outline of the county."

In order to attract talented artists to submit entries for the proposed insignia, a contest was publicized, offering $100 "for the best and most suitable design to be approved by the Board."

On August 10, 1939, from among 107 entries, the Board selected a design by California artist Orpha Mae Klinker (who, incidentally, was said to have also designed the official flag for the City of Beverly Hills). Payment of $100 was authorized for her and County Counsel was instructed to prepare a contract of release and assignment to the County of all copyright privileges.

The Los Angeles Times offered a description of Klinker’s design. “The county boundaries are outlined in gold, indicative of the first discovery of gold in Los Angeles County by Francisco Lopez in 1842, also indicative of the wealth of the county. The design is set against a ribbon of the American colors, red, white and blue. On one side of the ribbon is the setting sun with rays lighting the horizon. The lower half of the design is in azure blue, representing the clearness of the western cloudless sky.”

A few days later, on August 15, for an undetermined reason, the Board rescinded the August 10 order regarding Klinker’s design. Instead, they reissued a new order that seemed to repeat the earlier order. It again approved Klinker's design as insignia for county equipment, authorizing the purchasing agent to purchase the design from her, together with all rights for use, for $100.


Seal of the County of Los Angeles, Submitted December 9, 1887

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This seal was submitted to the California Secretary of State in 1887.