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Santa Barbara, California (U.S.)

Santa Barbara County

Last modified: 2012-08-16 by rick wyatt
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[flag of Santa Barbara, California] image by Paul Canter

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Description of the flag

The following is from a handout given to me by Jan and Paul Mills of Santa Barbara.

"... the saint's (Saint Barbara) is a tower with three windows. Barbara was the Christian daughter of a pagan ruler in Nicodemia, Asia Minor, in the 3rd century. The father imprisoned her in a tower to keep her free from contacts with Christians. She succeeded in adding a third window to her tower 'because divine light comes to us from three sources, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.' When her father discovered she had become a Christian, he had her killed. In turn, God sent a bolt of lightning which killed the father. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of all who seek protection from lightning, and by extension, gunpowder explosions, and of the artillery; the powder room on a ship is called the 'The Barbara.'

The city flag was created in 1920, and was adopted as the official city flag in 1923. The tower is in red on white, the colors of a virgin martyr. The red and gold recall the city's Spanish origins.

The flag also wears the rosette and Ribbon, in heavenly blue and white, of the Royal and Most Illustrious Order of Carlos III".
Jerry Lorigan, 12 August 1999

Though I have seen several variations in flags flown both by city offices and private residences, one seems to emerge as the most common. The key differences with your illustration are:
1) The castle is usually red, and rarely black.
2) There are three spaces atop the castle.
3) There are three arched windows descending left-to-right.
4) There is an arched doorway at bottom of castle.
Paul Canter, 4 November 2002