Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe will be looking for a third vote Tuesday to restore a Christian cross to the county seal.
The cross was removed from the old seal when it was totally redesigned in 2004. At that time the central allegorical figure of the goddess Pomona was replaced with something that’s supposed to represent a native American woman – although no native American woman in California at the time of Spanish conquest wore anything close to the Roman toga that the figure on the 2004 seal is wearing – and a cross-less version of the Mission San Gabriel was added to the seal.
At the time, the cross was missing from the actual San Gabriel Mission because it was undergoing renovation. Now the cross is back on the actual mission building, and Antonovich and Knabe want it added to the depiction of the mission in order to make the seal “historically correct.” (So far no word on fixing the central figure, though.)
Their motion reads as follows:
Pre-2004 county seal
“The San Gabriel Mission is arguably the birthplace of the Los Angeles County region. The Mission, also known as the “Pride of the California Missions”, is the historic center for culture and art for this entire area. For hundreds of years the Mission has been an influence on the expansion and development of Los Angeles County. It was the site of the area’s first hospital and the birthplace of the last Spanish governor of Alta California, Pio Pico. Moreover, the U.S. National Park Service recognizes the Mission as the core of the community that was forming in Southern California in the mid-1800s.
“In order to commemorate the significant role of the San Gabriel Mission in the historical and cultural development of Los Angeles County, its image is on the County seal along with a Native American woman holding a basket, engineering instruments, the Spanish galleon San Salvador, a tuna, a cow, the Hollywood Bowl, and two stars representing the County’s motion picture and television industries.
“The current rendering of the Mission on the seal is artistically and architecturally inaccurate. At the time that the seal was redesigned in 2004, the cross had been missing from the top of the Mission since 1989 when it was taken down to retrofit the structure after damage from the Whittier Narrows earthquake. The cross was returned to the top of the Mission in 2009 after being lost for decades.
“WE, THEREFORE, MOVE that the Board of Supervisors direct the Chief Executive Officer to make the County seal artistically, aesthetically and architecturally correct by placing the cross on top of the San Gabriel Mission in order to accurately reflect the cultural and historical role that the Mission played in the development of the Los Angeles County region.”