San Jose, California, City Flag

Mar 11th, 2018


San Jose, Spanish for Saint Joseph, lies in the Santa Clara Valley in southern California on the shore of San Francisco Bay. The city is the seat of Santa Clara County. San Jose was founded in 1777 as Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. At some point, the name was shortened to San Jose. The city was the capital of California from 1849 to 1851. In 1850, the city was among the first in the state to incorporate.


The current city flag of San Jose was adopted in 1984. The flag has a white field with a gold stripe at the top and a blue stripe at the bottom. The center of the field features the city seal. The actual designer of the flag is not known.


Not much is known about the meaning behind the part of the flag. It is known that the wheat sheaf and the grapes were the main agricultural products of the area in the 1900s.


In 2004, the North American Vexillological Association, NAVA, conducted The American City Flag Survey. San Jose’s flag ranked 78th out of 150 flags. Most city’s that use a city coat of arms or seal ranked low in the survey. Read the top five Vexillologist rules of simple flag design.



San Jose’s first official city flag was adopted in 1969. At the request of the city council in 1968, the rules committee along with the Historic Landmarks Commission worked on developing a flag for the city. The city historian, Clyde Arbuckle, designed the flag that was officially adopted.


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