History of the City Seal
The City of Alameda was first incorporated April 19, 1854. On January 12, 1885, the Official Seal of the City was approved. The seal was designed by William V. Gray. Mr. Gray was paid $11.00 for designing and engraving the seal.
In the border of the seal, the State Flower of California, the California Poppy, is displayed in addition to the name of the City. Freely translated, the Latin inscription “Prosperitas terra mari que” means prosperity from the land and sea. The central figure is Ceres, goddess of grain and harvests. Ceres carries an offering of rich produce and has flowers at her feet. Behind Ceres is an anvil with a sledge resting upon it typifying industry and commerce. Along the shoreline are factories with smoking stacks.
On November 16, 2004, the City Council amended the City seal to include the incorporation date in the border.
History of the City Flag
The flag of Alameda recognizes our distinctive nautical orientation in various ways: basically an adaptation of the international signal flag for the letter A, added to the white field is a red star from the flag of the state of California, and the blue side is balanced with a white star from the American flag. A corresponding and balancing water motif runs along the bottom. In the center is a monogram, intertwining a victorian era capital letter A with an anchor, a symbol not only of things maritime but also of stability and home and faith. Incidentally, the swallow tail of the flag is not only distinctive, but could well evoke memories of the flag of the Alaska Packers of our turn of the century.