The current seal of the City of Culver City was adopted in August of 1936. Prior to that, two "Notary" type seals were used, according to the City Clerk's records.
The first city seal was a circle containing the words INCORPORATE(sic) SEPTEMBER 20, (sic) 1917" on three lines, the word INCORPORATE being uppermost and slightly curved. Around this seal is a rim, with "CULVER CITY" at the top, and "CALIFORNIA" at the bottom. There were two five-point stars between them. The inner rim was beaded, but the outer rim looked like a rope. That seal was used from incorporation until about 1921.
The second city seal was a circle containing the word "SEAL" at the center of the inner circle in large ornate letters, with three five-point stars above and three below. In that same circle, but rounded above is the word "INCORPORATED," with "SEPT. 20, 1917" below, curved in the lower border. That circle was also beaded, and there was the same outer circle as in the first seal.
On August 3, 1936, by Ordinance No. 453, the City adopted the current official city seal. The ordinance required that "the imprint thereof shall hereafter be impressed upon all official documents in place of the Seal heretofore used, and an enlarged copy of said Seal shall be placed on all motor equipment owned and operated by the City of Culver City." This ordinance also stated "Around the outer edge shall appear the words, City of Culver City, Incorporated 1917", and in the center thereof shall appear the inscription "Heart of Screenland," which inscription shall run through the center of a Shield; in the upper left hand corner shall be depicted motion picture camera equipment indicative of the present major industry in the City of Culver City; in the lower left hand corner of said Shield, shall be depicted a representation of the Golden Bear, emblematic of the State of California; in the upper right hand corner a representation of the rising sun; and in the lower right hand corner shall be depicted a sprig of lantana, the official flower of the City of Culver City."
That ordinance, signed by Mayor Frank H. Dobson, also included a further description of the seal. It called for unequal sized sections of the shield, with the upper left and lower right being about double the size of the others. It even specified that "the motion picture camera equipment in the upper left hand quarter includes a cameraman upon a wheeled camera dolly, a klieg light turned on, and a reflector screen. The stylized sun in the upper right hand quarter is about 2/3 risen above ground level, and displays seven rays." The colors are also defined, calling for the upper left illustration "in powder blue and white with the linework in black." The golden sun is to be upon a "dark blue field." The city flower, the lantana, was to be illustrated in red with green leaves.
On November 12, 1940, Mayor Randall and Members of the City Council adopted ordinance No. 528, which called for the adoption of the official City Flag. The ordinance described the flag as follows: "On a background of white shall appear a blue facsimile of the official seal of the City, and at the upper left-hand corner a red five-point star. Below said seal, in large letters shall appear the name Culver City."
There are a number of seals visible in town. The most accessible are located at Fire Station 1 Downtown, which has a tile version of the seal, and the metal one at the entry to the Culver City Council Chambers, as well as the bronze one over the dais within the chambers. The old painted seal which was mounted in the 1928 Council Chambers is now above the stage at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. There is also a seal on the "Filmstrip U.S.A." which is a part of the stainless steel sculpture in front of the Veterans Memorial Building. Look for the flags, too!
Culver City history provided by Julie Lugo Cerra, official Culver City Historian.