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Los Angeles, California (U.S.)

City of Los Angeles

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[flag of Los Angeles, California] by Randy Young, 11 March 2001

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Flag Description

This is the flag of the city of Los Angeles. The flag is a vertical tricolor of green, gold, and red, with the portions divided with a serrated edge. The city seal appears in the center of the flag. According to the description on the World Book online website, "The city's flag was adopted on Sept. 4, 1931, the 150th anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles. The city seal symbolizes Los Angeles' history under the governments of Spain, Mexico, the California Republic, and the U.S."
Randy Young, 11 March 2001

Unofficial First Flag

[Unofficial First Flag of Los Angeles] by António Martins, 14 June 2004

I have a post card image that is said to date from 1907. The flag is a vertical tribar of red, yellow, and green with a large white L on the red stripe, and A on the green stripe. A black bell with 1781 in white superimposed over a bunch of purple grapes is on the yellow stripe. I queried the Los Angeles Public Library about this flag. The answer, from Michael Holland, says, "There was no official city flag prior to 1931, but there had been an attempt to create one in January 1926. The request was placed in files and never enacted.... As to the origins of the postcard, the only explanation that comes to mind was that some individual or group may have been trying to build support for a flag as a result of the Seal appearing two years earlier. There were no official attempts by the City of Los Angeles according to the Council Files and indexes at any time before or after the suggestion of 1926."
John Purcell, 11 June 2004

The 1781 indicates the date when Governor Felipe de Neve visited the future site of the new pueblo to clear the land and mark it off. 44 men, women and children began life at the new pueblo - El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (Sept.4). Only two of the original settlers were white Spaniards. The other settlers were of Indian, Mestizo, African and Mulatto descent. Twenty two were children. The flag shows the bell, presumably to honor the already existing missions established by Father Junipero Serra and his associates and bunches of grapes to signify the first industry of the area - winemaking. Just one year later Father Serra dropped in on the community and scolded inhabitants for their lack of the moral backbone - he found most of them drunk.
Chris Kretowicz, 17 September 2002

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