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Sacramento, California (U.S.)

Sacramento County

Last modified: 2022-06-18 by rick wyatt
Keywords: sacramento | california | sacramento county |
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[flag of Sacramento, California] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2008
based on

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Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.


Sacramento’s flag has a modernistic design with five colors on its field. The central figure is a stylized white S curving lazily from the upper fly to the lower hoist. On a field of 16 by 32 units, the figure is 3 units wide at the fly and 1 unit below the upper fly corner, and 2 units wide at the hoist and 4 units above the lower hoist corner. The figure is 6 units wide at its widest point in the center of the flag. The field above the “S” is a medium blue. At the upper hoist corner is a green half-disk, 3 units at its widest point, and extending 6 units from the top edge. The field below the “S” is a dark blue. At the center fly is a half-disk in gold, smaller than the disk at the hoist, 4 units from the bottom edge and 6 units from the top edge. At its widest point it is about 3 units. Across the bottom of the dark blue field is CITY OF SACRAMENTO in white letters one unit high in an Arial-type font.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


White represents the city’s virtue, strength, and bright future. The two blue sections represent the city’s rivers (the Sacramento and the American), green stands for the agricultural heritage, and the gold color represents the gold miners so important in the history of California and of Sacramento, the center of the Gold Country and the 1849 Gold Rush.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


On 21 February 1989 the city council approved a resolution setting aside $5,000 for the design and manufacture of a new city flag by the Art Directors and Artists Club of Sacramento in preparation for celebration of the city’s Sesquicentennial on August 13 of that year. A team of five designers from the club was chosen to develop a flag. The team proposed four designs from which the city council chose the finalist, after public display and comment.
Flag adopted: 15 August 1989 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The design team comprised Lisa Bacchini, of Lisa Bacchini Graphic Design and Illustrations; Frank Burris, Kramer Carton Co.; Kyp Griffin, Tackett-Barbaria Design; Laurie Lewis, University of California at Davis, Publications Department; and Mark Price, Trimline/ 3M and Graphic Design by Price.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

The design team undertook the flag design as a community service project without compensation.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

1964-1989 flag

[flag of Sacramento, California] image by Rob Raeside, 30 July 2014

The design of the previous Sacramento flag resulted from of the efforts of E. A. Combatalade, the founder of the Camellia Festival Association that held an annual celebration in the city. Combatalade felt that the city should have a flag to celebrate its 125th anniversary, especially since it was one of the last major California cities without a flag. He suggested key design elements to Goodwin & Cole, flag manufacturers, who prepared a sketch of a possible flag. Combatalade took the sketch to Max Depew, assistant editor of the Sacramento Bee, who thought that the elements could be rearranged more attractively. He and Combatalade made a new sketch of what ultimately became the city’s first flag. The city council officially adopted the design on 23 January 1964.

The flag’s proportions are 7:11. The white field has four major elements. Centered at the hoist is the C. P. Huntington locomotive, in profile toward the fly, commemorating Sacramento as the terminus of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. The locomotive is black with a red side, a red “cow-catcher” in front, and a red coal tender following. Centered at the fly is a Pony Express rider on horseback, headed at full gallop toward the hoist, marking Sacramento’s role as the western terminus of the Pony Express. The rider, bent over the horse, wears a coonskin cap, a red kerchief and red shirt, and dark blue pants.

In the lower center, extending from slightly above the field’s midpoint down about one-third of the flag’s width is the state capitol dome, denoting Sacramento as the state’s capital. The dome is gold, supported by two stories of white columns detailed in black. At the base of this figure is a red camellia flower, a green leaf on either side. In the upper center, above the dome, is a bearded miner, kneeling by a stream, panning for gold, and symbolizing the discovery of gold in California. The figure is in partial profile toward the hoist. He wears a brown wide-brimmed hat, a red shirt, and black pants. A miner’s pick-ax lies on the ground at his right. Arched over the miner’s head in the center of the field is SACRAMENTO; running horizontally and centered below the camellia is CALIFORNIA, all in blue block letters.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


[City Seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 6 May 2019


Fire Department

[Fire Department] image located by Paul Bassinson, 16 March 2021

The flag of the Sacramento Fire Department appears to simply consist of the department’s logo on a solid black background. Image obtained from
Paul Bassinson, 16 March 2021