View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

UPDATE: Supervisors vote to put cross back on Los Angeles County seal

Posted: January 7, 2014 11:23 a.m.
Updated: January 7, 2014 6:16 p.m.

The motion approved by Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday will add a cross to the top of the image of San Gabriel Mission on the county seal approved in 2004.

 

SANTA CLARITA - Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to put a Christian cross back on the county seal almost a decade after it was removed amid threats of a lawsuit.

Tuesday’s motion, which was introduced by supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Don Knabe, would put a cross on top of the depiction of the San Gabriel Mission that is on the existing county seal.

That cross-less depiction of the mission was added to the seal in 2004 to replace the Christian cross that had been on the seal since 1957.

The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the county over the cross in 2004, saying it represented an endorsement of Christianity and was a violation of the First Amendment.

Antonovich said adding the cross would make the depiction of the mission historically accurate, since at the time the revised seal was adopted the cross was missing from the top of the San Gabriel Mission.

The cross has since been restored to the mission, so Antonovich said restoring it to the seal would be both architecturally accurate and recognize the cultural and historical significance that Christian missionaries played in Los Angeles County.

“We appreciate the input and participation from the community whose strong support for the mission, its significance to our county and the need to ensure the architectural accuracy of the county seal resulted in today’s action,” Antonovich said.

But Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who voted against the motion along with Supervisor Gloria Molina, said there are other ways the seal could reflect that significance without adding a cross. Those include adding a depiction of a missionary or even an angel.

“There are 100 ways in which we could depict that history,” Yaroslavsky said. “But the one that’s been chosen here is the cross.”

Yaroslavsky also said he was concerned that putting the cross back on the seal would expose the county to litigation.

“The issue of accuracy is an interesting one, but it’s not a constitutional one,” he said.

The third vote in favor of the motion Tuesday was from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was not on the board in 2004 during the last vote on the issue.

Other depictions on the existing seal include a cow, a tuna fish, a Native American woman holding a basket, engineering instruments, a Spanish galleon, the Hollywood Bowl and two stars representing the importance of the motion picture and television industries in Los Angeles County.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

 

 

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...