Note: The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and a law firm representing a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim officials filed suit Thursday in federal court to block the restoration of a small Latin cross to the seal of the County of Los Angeles.
[Supv. Antonovich] – “Once again, the ACLU storm troopers are attempting to rewrite history,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. “However, just as other California municipalities have missions on their seals, Los Angeles County will prevail.”
The action by the Board of Supervisors last month updated the seal with an accurate rendering of the current mission.
Missions on municipal seals are not unique to Los Angeles County. Accurate depictions of California missions exist on the seals of other municipalities, including the counties of Ventura and San Benito, and the city of San Luis Obispo.
The history of Los Angeles County began with the founding of the San Gabriel Mission by Father Junipero Serra in September, 1771. Also known as the “Pride of the California Missions,” its doors opened directly to the El Camino Real which connected all of California’s great missions, pueblos and presidios.
For hundreds of years, the mission has been the historic center for culture and art in our region and has had a vital 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.
Learning about the missions is part of the California 4th grade curriculum where students are asked to build model missions and complete reports on one of the California missions.
Supervisor Don Knabe
[Supv. Knabe] – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Knabe released the following statement regarding today’s news that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles:
“It is disappointing that the ACLU has chosen to file a lawsuit against Los Angeles County regarding the updating of the county’s official seal. Our motion to add the cross to the County seal was in the name of historical correctness, not political correctness.
While the ACLU has chosen to engage in this issue, today I am up in Sacramento working with a bipartisan group of elected officials to protect our most vulnerable, the young victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. If ever there were an issue threatening individual liberty, certainly it would be the heinous crime of minors, as young as 10-years-old, being bought and sold in the streets of communities across California. That is where I think our attention and resources should be focused, rather than on frivolous lawsuits.”