LA County Seals

The decision could face legal challenges, critics warn, over the constitutionality of including a religious symbol in the logo.

By Abby Sewell and Seema Mehta
January 7, 2014, 9:17 p.m.

A divided Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to add a cross back to the county’s official seal, despite warnings the decision would invite legal challenges.

The proposal to change the seal, which appears on flags, vehicles and written communications with residents, was advanced by board members Michael D. Antonovich and Don Knabe and picked up a required third vote from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The cross will be added to a small depiction of the San Gabriel Mission now in the seal. Supporters of the change called it a matter of historical and architectural accuracy; critics called it a thinly veiled effort to get a Christian symbol back in the county logo.

Antonovich and Knabe maintained that they simply want the design to accurately depict the 242-year-old historic site, as Knabe put it, so that it “looks like a mission instead of the back end of a Walmart.”

Several county residents spoke in support of that view during Tuesday’s board meeting.

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