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The City of San Diego, California


Registration number 20061228G


This certifies that the heraldic arms of The City of San Diego, California are registered as an original design and are described by the blazon below

Arms: Or, a fess wavy Azure, in chief a Spanish caravel in full sail Gules, pennons and flag of the same, in base, an orange tree Proper, fruited and eradicated, between winged wheels of the third.
Crest: A Carmelite belfry Azure, having hung therein a bell Or.
Motto: Semper Vigilans (Ever Vigilant)
Supporters: The pillars of Hercules Azure, entwined with ribands Or.
Compartment: Two dolphins Vert, with eyes, fins and tail Gules, their tails linked together Or.


Design rationale

The blue fess represents the city’s position on the sea. The Spanish caravel represents the exploration and settlement by the Spanish. The orange tree represents the city’s agriculture industry, while the winged wheels represent manufacturing and transportation industries.

The mission or Carmelite belfry of the crest signifies that San Diego is home to the earliest Spanish mission in California.

The pillars of Hercules are used as supporters to recall the early territorial jurisdiction of Spain, which also uses them as supporters for its arms.

The two dolphins symbolize the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, inseparably united by the Panama Canal.

Santa Pinter, J. J. "The Heraldic Seal of the City of San Diego, California," Volume 82, Issue 1, Pages 29-30 of In: Archivum heraldicum, 1968

(Updated 19 MAY 2015)

Historical note

The official seal of the City of San Diego was adopted by the City Council on April 14, 1914, and superseded a design that had been in use since Jan. 5, 1888.

Registered by

Arian Collins

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