Los Angeles County Removes Cross From Seal

Seeking to avoid a First Amendment challenge, Los Angeles County (Calif.)\n lawmakers have unveiled a new county seal without a Christian cross and a pagan\n goddess.

In early summer, the Los Angeles County Supervisors voted to remove a small\n gold cross from the county seal after lawyers said that a lawsuit challenging\n the seal’s incorporation of the religious symbol would likely succeed.

The new seal, the Religion News Service reported on Sept. 10, replaces the\n cross with an image of San Gabriel Mission without a visible cross. Pomona,\n goddess of fruit trees, was replaced with a depiction of a Native American\n woman holding a basket.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which had threatened to sue the county\n over the seal, said it was pleased with the revised version.

“As far was we’re concerned, they could have satisfied their\n legal obligation by simply removing the cross,” said ACLU attorney Ben\n Wizner. “But they went a step further and tried to devise a symbol that\n would really reflect the diversity of the county.”

L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antovich, a supporter of the original seal, said\n he would continue to fight for the original seal’s reinstatement.