Thursday, February 6, 2014

Los Angeles County Seal

All in favor of not wasting money on a seal that nobody pays attention to, raise your hands.

Yes, I'm on a bit of a soapbox. But it is about history.

This is the Los Angeles County Seal.

Mostly it was designed by Millard Sheets in 1957. I say mostly because there have been few modifications. The "goddess Pomona" that he drew (he lived near Pomona and was actively involved in designing their outdoor mall in the early 60s) has been replaced by a Native American-looking woman. Oil derricks were removed and replaced by the drawing of a mission, seen as more pertinent to our history. And a tiny cross was removed, under threat of lawsuit by the ACLU.

You can read the history of the County Seal, which dates back to 1887, here.

Los Angeles is not a Christains-only county, so having one religious symbol and excluding others did not seem right. The courts agreed.

And even though I am a huge fan of Millard Sheets, I think those changes were fine. Times and sensibilities change.

But as the Los Angeles Times reports--or editorializes--it ain't over.

Nine and a half years after the last changes were made, two County Supervisors, Don Knabe & Michael D. Antonovich, have been joined by a third, Mark Ridley-Thomas, in asking that the cross be put back on the seal. And the three of them got the motion approved.

First, didn't Michael D. Antonovich used to be Mike?

But more importantly, why are resources and time being wasted on this grand-standing effort that predictably has evoked the threat of a lawsuit?

The editorial by Robert Greene makes it clear that he thinks this controversy is silly.

I do too. We do have other things to fuss over, as a county. Don't we? And if we don't, do we need the Board of Supervisors and their staff?

The seal--that you probably didn't even know about--is fine the way it is. The change these three supervisors are proposing will open the county up to more lawsuits, besides offending many of its inhabitants. Voting inhabitants. It spends money that is in short supply and is better channeled to other pursuits.

Knabe, I think, will be term-limited out by the next election. Antonovich too, though he's been a Supervisor since 1980. As for Ridley-Thomas, he'll face re-election . . . or not.

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