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Berkeley, California (U.S.)

Alameda County

Last modified: 2017-11-18 by rick wyatt
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No flag

The city of Berkeley has reported to me that it does not have a flag.
Valentin Poposki, 2 October 2010


The seal

The website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/news shows a rather unimpressive logo consisting of a small black square; at the upper left are the words 'CITY OF' written  in small white capitals, while along the left side of the square the word 'BERKELEY' is written in larger white capitals. To the right of the square appears to be an optical illusion in black and white, but the entire design is so small that I cannot distinguish its features clearly.
Ron Lahav, 10 July 2004

The Deputy City Clerk of Berkeley reports that the city has a seal consisting of a coat of arms, apparently with the name Berkeley, possibly originally belonging to a Lord Berkeley. The coat of arms, however, might belong not to a mythical British peer of the realm, but to Bishop George Berkeley, the early 18th Century Anglo- Irish philosopher. Not only was Bishop Berkeley the first European intellectual to spend a considerable time in the New World (he lived for six years in Newport, Rhode Island), but he was the first great advocate of British and in fact European settlement in North America. He had conceived the idea that in the New World all the evils of European society could be left behind and a 'brave new world' (to coin a phrase) could be created. My reason for guessing that the arms might be those of Bishop Berkeley is that apparently there is some identification with either the name or the place 'Berkeley', and the good bishop penned the famous lines 'Westward the course of empire wends its way.'
Ron Lahav, 4 August 2004

Wikipedia reports "the history of the city is inextricably linked to its university. According to the Centennial Record of the University of California, "In 1866...at Founders' Rock, a group of College of California men were watching two ships standing out to sea through the Golden Gate. One of them, Frederick Billings, was reminded of the lines of Bishop Berkeley, 'westward the course of empire takes it way,' and suggested that the town and college site be named for the eighteenth-century English philosopher and poet."
Richard Knipel, 6 August 2004

The ancient arms associated with the Berkeley family are reasonably well known in heraldic circles. I believe they appear in Boutell's Heraldry and know they are used by Berkeley College of Yale University. They are "gules a chevron between ten crosses paty argent," or in ordinary language, red with a white chevron and ten white crosses that resemble the Iron Cross.
Joe McMillan, 6 August 2004


Chamber of Commerce

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce has a flag which can be seen on a photo here: www.berkeleychamber.com/cms2/viewpage.php?domain_id=40&menu_id=430. The flag is white with Chamber's logo on it. The logo can be seen on the upper banner left on the same page. The difference is that the logo on the flag has all letters "BERKELEY" in blue, and "CHAMBER OF COMMERCE" in red.
Valentin Poposki, 15 November 2008