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Stockton, California

Last modified: 2006-08-05 by rick wyatt
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[flag of City of Stockton, California] image located by Dov Gutterman

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Flag Description

The flag of the City of Stockton, California, was reconstructed above from a verbal description, and partial views in photos. It is shown as the city seal on a red field. It is a red/blue vertically divided bicolor, and the seal taking up a large portion of the flag. See and and at it specifically says "The City's official flag was designed in 1998 by Katherine Gong Meissner, the City Clerk, and is a depiction of the City seal on a field that is red on the left and blue on the right."
Ned Smith, 2 April 2006


"History of the Stockton City Seal and the Stockton City Flag

In November 1850, the City Council authorized an appropriation of $36 and the design for the seal was under way.

A year later, in 1851, the Council adopted the design of the city seal, as sketched by Stockton's first Mayor, Samuel Purdy. Extensive research has not revealed any official documentation regarding the symbolism of the design elements of the seal. Oral tradition has it that the mountain predominant in the background represents Mount Diablo, which would have been a very prominent landmark in Stockton's early days. And yet others have considered the mountains as representing the Sierra Nevada to the east. The water behind the tule elk and the small boat could well be interpreted to reflect Stockton's dependence on water as a main transportation artery for gold rush supplies.

It would be appropriate to say that the symbolism for today's economy could very well reflect Stockton as a sea port not to mention the recreational aspect of 1000 miles of Delta waterways enjoyed by many for fishing, boating and other water activities.

Though the original design of the seal showed a very majestic tule elk, by the 1920s, it had evolved somehow into a creature with somewhat less majesty than intended by the original designers. The City Clerk's archives contain documents from this era that show the elk was redesigned looking back over its shoulder. This seal was used for the next 73 years. Unfortunately, our records lack any indication as to when the City flag was created using the circa 1920 seal.

In 1993, then City Clerk Frances Hong was credited with the idea of having the seal returned to its original, grand stature. A UOP graduate art student was hired to recreate the City seal to depict its original majestic concept. The recreated seal was unveiled in the Council Chambers and presented to the City Council on July 25, 1994.

Up to 1998 the City's flag continued to bear the 1920's version of the seal. In 1999, in light of being named a finalist for the All-America City award, City Clerk Katherine Gong Meissner felt it would be appropriate to have a new flag made with the recreated seal for the Stockton delegates to take with them to the competition in Philadelphia. Since the All-America City competition, we have added a bright background to compliment the colors and bring out the vibrancy of the seal displayed in the City flag today. "
The flag seems to be bright-red as seen on photos from the city offices.

submitted by Dov Gutterman, 21 October 2002