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Stockton, California (U.S)

San Joaquin County

Last modified: 2018-08-07 by rick wyatt
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[flag of City of Stockton, California] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



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Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The field of the flag of Stockton is divided in half, red at the hoist and blue at the fly. In its center an oversized seal spans the height of the field. The flag is 26 by 39 units. A white outer ring of the seal, 2 units wide, encloses three concentric rings; the first and third are gold edged in black, and one-half of a unit wide, and form the outer and inner edges of the second ring, which is white, and 3 units wide. STOCKTON FOUNDED JUNE 1849 curves clockwise around the top portion of the white ring, INCORPORATED JULY 1850 curves counterclockwise below, all blue. Red five-pointed stars separate these legends. In the center of the seal is a large, light brown, antlered tule elk facing the fly. In the background, a dark brown mountain range rises from the horizontal center of the seal. The range has four peaks, the highest in the center, and above them is a light blue sky. The lower half of the scene depicts a blue river below the mountains, about one-third the width of the sceneís lower half. On the fly side is a small red sailboat with two white sails and a red pennant, billowing toward the fly. The lowest portion of the seal shows green grass below the elk.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The tule elk is native to the region. The central peak has traditionally represented Mount Diablo, a prominent peak in the area, but others consider the mountains depicted on the seal to be the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range to the east of the city. The water behind the elk reflects Stocktonís dependence on water as a main transportation artery for supplies during the California Gold Rush. A modern interpretation of the water would be the importance of Stockton as a seaport, as well as the 1,000 miles of Sacramento River Delta waterways used for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Developed by the city clerk in 1999, but never officially adopted. The seal on the flag was adopted 25 July 1994.
Flag adopted: 27 August 1999 (unofficial).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Katherine Gong Meissner, city clerk. The redesigned seal of 1994 was the project of the previous city clerk, Frances Hong, who felt that the original majesty of the elk as it appeared on the first seal had been lost over the years due to poor renditions as it was copied.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

When Stockton was a finalist for the All-America City award in 1999, Meissner developed the flag so that the city would have a flag with its new seal for the delegates to take along to the competition in Philadelphia.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

From www.ci.stockton.ca.us

"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


Previous flag(?)

[flag of City of Stockton, California] image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

The original seal was designed by Stocktonís first mayor, Samuel Purdy, in 1850. It is identical to the current seal, except that the elk walks toward the hoist, looking over its left shoulder. This version of the seal in gold on a green field was used unofficially as the cityís flag until 1999.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003