View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

UPDATE: ACLU sues over cross on L.A. County seal

Posted: February 6, 2014 12:46 p.m.
Updated: February 6, 2014 5:02 p.m.

The 2004 redesign of the L.A. County seal.


The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California is challenging a decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to restore a cross to the county’s official seal.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court, the ACLU claims adding the religious symbol violates the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state.

Supervisors voted 3-2 last month to put a cross atop the seal’s depiction of historic San Gabriel Mission.

The original seal had a cross over the Hollywood Bowl, but the Christian image was removed when the seal was redesigned in 2004. The redesign was the result of threatened legal action by the ACLU.

The latest redesigned seal — the one with the cross atop the mission — became official Jan. 31.

“Once again, the ACLU storm troopers are attempting to rewrite history,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who introduced the motion to restore the cross to the seal along with Supervisor Don Knabe.

“However, just as other California municipalities have missions on their seals, Los Angeles County will prevail.”

Antonovich, who voted in favor of restoring the cross along with Knabe and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, said adding the cross to the San Gabriel Mission image on the seal would make the depiction of the mission historically accurate.

But supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky voted against the change, with Yaroslavsky questioning the constitutionality of the move.

“The issue of accuracy is an interesting one, but it’s not a constitutional one,” said Yaroslavsky during the January board vote on the matter.






AWB: Posted: February 6, 2014 7:44 p.m.

They should sue for a redesign the Sheriff badge because it's shaped like the Star of David. And while they are at it they can go after the rosary beads on the City of L.A.'s seal. Maybe a non-religious symbol such as a swastika would satisfy the ACLU. --edited.

Rick54: Posted: February 7, 2014 7:26 a.m.

Oh for God's sakes!

src: Posted: February 7, 2014 8:32 a.m.

Better get the armed forces to take those offensive red crosses off their medical vehicles too! I'm extremely offended by crosses! I'm suing!!! I have the right to never be offended! Pfffffffft.

tpaul: Posted: February 7, 2014 9:34 a.m.

ACLU is the biggest bunch of ...dorks EVER

UsualSuspect: Posted: February 7, 2014 10:34 a.m.

The change to add the seal is millions, neighbors County truck already has the new seal on there, not sure how much it cost, but he gets a new one at the end of the year, it probably could have waited. Now we get to watch them spend more taxpayer dollars in legal fee's. No wonder no one wants to live here anymore, the spending is out of control. The ACLU should have left his one alone, but the Supervisors knew when they passed it the ACLU would sue. I wonder if any of the Supervisors own stock in the place that prints the seals and stationary, as well as the paper warehouses that will supply the truckloads of paper needed by both sides to tell the Court their side of the story. Meanwhile employers are still fleeing the area for lower tax rates and cost of living and taking the jobs with them.

David2015: Posted: February 7, 2014 12:20 p.m.

In a closed session, the ACLU agreed not to sue the County of Los Angeles if the Original Cross was replaced with "depiction of a California Mission". Leaving the cross off the Mission violated that agreement. Suing to keep it off, is a breach of agreement by the ACLU and all cost relating to removing the original Cross and this current litigation need to be paid for by the Party breaching the agreement, the ACLU.

LosRubios: Posted: February 7, 2014 3:05 p.m.

If the ACLU wanted to make the seal a truly authentic representation, they should add a homeless person pushing a shopping cart and also some broken eggs sliding down the mission wall

aSCVmom: Posted: February 7, 2014 3:49 p.m.

OMG... ACLU...get a life !!!....for the last several years, the " mission " on the L.A. County seal has looked like a warehouse...a mission is a mission... WITH a cross, AND... it depicits CA history...

philellis: Posted: February 7, 2014 4:26 p.m.

I am waiting for someone to file a suit over our calendar, somtimes referred to as the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is today's internationally accepted civil calendar and is also known as the "Western calendar" or "Christian calendar". It was named after the man who first introduced it in February 1582: Pope Gregory XIII.

By, the way, this year is 2014, A.D.

Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) and Before Christ (BC or B.C.) are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term Anno Domini is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord,[1] and as in the year of Our Lord.[2][3]:782 It is sometimes specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").

banditmama: Posted: February 8, 2014 10:36 p.m.

They are suing on the behalf of whom? Did I miss something or is it the ACLU itself who is offended?

stevehw: Posted: February 8, 2014 10:52 p.m.

And January is named after the Roman god Janus, and July and August were named for Julius and Augustus Caesar. And the terms CE and BCE are fairly common now, particularly in scholarly works.

So what's your point?

DMeyer: Posted: February 8, 2014 11:30 p.m.

stevehw doesn't get the point, again?

Funny how most everyone else seems to.

garyr: Posted: February 8, 2014 10:16 a.m.

The ACLU can sue on behalf of me if they want. I don't really care that much but I have legal standing because they are modifying the Seal with my tax dollars in a way that may cause even more of my tax dollars to be spent on legal fees.

You need to be a registered user to post a comment. Please click here to register.

The Signal encourages readers to interact with one another, following the guidelines outlined in our Comment/Moderation Policy. Click here to read it.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, e-mail The content posted from readers of does not necessarily represent the views of The Signal or Morris Multimedia. By submitting this form you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...