Friday, July 10, 2009

Orange County's flag

The Orange County flag was officially adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 11, 1968. The design was selected in a contest of high school students held earlier that year. There were 80 entries. The winning entry (shown above) was by Laura Shernaman, an 11th grader at Fountain Valley High School. The flag was first flown at the opening of the new Orange County Courthouse on Jan. 10, 1969, at 3:00 p.m.
Note that the flag features a yellow sunburst surrounding the County emblem – an element that is often left out.
The circular emblem at the center of the flag (featuring three oranges, Old Saddleback, and rows of fields) has somewhat mysterious origins. The first usage I’ve heard of was in 1948, but there is no sign that it was ever officially adopted by the County. The official County seal remains a single orange with a stem and three leaves.
Below is another iteration of the County flag. It's interesting how many different shapes the yellow sunburst has taken over the years. Notice also that the text has changed from gold to white and that the mountains look less like Old Saddleback. It seems the flag's design drifts a bit over time.


Schopie said...

Where can an official large Orange County flag (such as is flying around Santa Ana and at the airport, or as is displayed inside the Nixon Library) be purchased? I have been dreading asking the county employees since I imagine I would never get an answer.

suni24720010 said...

Hahaha I am the designer of the original Orange Co. flag. I was surprised to see someone changed the sun burst but it still looks good. Who changed it? I am still an artist, and if you ever want to see more of my work....Google Laura Shernaman artwork on Webshots. I also do ceramics and will do commission work or contact me through Facebook as Laura Berry

Anonymous said...

i would also like to buy an orange county flag. if anyone knows where i can purchase one please email me.

Anonymous said...

I know you did I took you to the ceremony my name is Pete hopefully remember me.l also think I took you to a Johnny Mathis concert

Anonymous said...

this is Pete again I only knew you as Suni not Laura

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the flag, Laura - My name is Dennis Baxter and I was in your same art class at Fountain Valley High. My flag design was runner-up to yours. I still have the newspaper clipping announcing you as the winner - an me as a runner up. Best always. DLB

Chris Jepsen said...

What did your version of the flag look like, Dennis?

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris;

That was nearly forty years ago -- and I can't remember all the details. But, I do remember it being done with a Gold Crest on a Black Background -- quite a contrast to Laura's. The top three designs were on display by the County for a while -- and I never got my original back. Not sure if the County would still have the originals archived somewhere.

Sorry I can't be of much more help -- but thank you for asking.

I am currently working on a Film Documentary of Orange County -- and I may in touch with you when it comes time to talk about the Flag. You seem to be the expert on the subject.

Best always.