A photo showing three versions of the new Corona City seal — one with a green outline, one with a yellow outline and one in black and white.
The Corona City Council last week took the first step in adopting a new city seal — as seen in the image above. (Courtesy City of Corona)

The Corona City Council last week took the first step in adopting a new city seal, but some felt the new seal was missing an important piece of the city’s identity.

“Where’s the crown on the seal,” Virginia Coriddi, a Corona resident, said during Wednesday’s meeting. “I don’t see a crown on the seal that was just put up there.”

The new city seal features a crescent of lemons at the bottom, the mountains at the top and the circle representing the city’s historic downtown. A ring around the outside says, “City of Corona” at the top with “Est. 1886” at the bottom.

“Virginia, I’m with you, and I said that at the study session, but we voted on it, and it didn’t get a majority of the votes,” Councilmember Jim Steiner said. “I was put at ease a little bit after [Vice Mayor Tom Richins] gave his history update on the crown and downtown and the circle. I still like a crown better, but at least you made a little bit of sense with that, so we lost Virginia, sorry.”

Richins said the historical use of the crown, both in the name and the symbol, originated from the circle created by Grand Boulevard.

“A lot of Corona was designed in Anaheim, and at the time it was called the Anaheim Colony, and every original street name for our own was picked in Anaheim,” he said. “They came here, they built the circle and they called, the nickname then was Queen Colony, because it was the queen — the circle being the crown. So this seal shows the birthplace of Corona.”

And while a literal crown will no longer be featured in the city seal, it is part of the city’s logo, as Councilmember Jacque Casillas pointed out.

“The crown is not gone,” she said. “It’s above the letter ‘c’ in the logo. It’s getting used a lot, it’s just no longer in the seal, and it was never a literal thing for our city.”

The last time the city updated the city seal in 2015, only minor changes were made. This year’s upgrade is an entire overhaul. (Courtesy City of Corona)

Casillas said she was also very happy that the orange on the former city seal had been replaced with lemons.

“What I see here in the seal now is an actual representation of our city as the former lemon capital of the world,” she said. “We were never the orange capital, and it just would grind my gears every time I’d see that orange, so I’m glad that the orange is gone. I’m glad that the lemon is there. I’m glad that it’s a professional clean looking seal. I’m glad that our beautiful mountains are included.”

Shaughn Hill, chief communications officer for the city, said the city has gone through a long process of community engagement — hearing from more than 2,200 residents — to learn what the community wanted incorporated in the new city seal before going through the design process with Pastilla Agency.

“It’s been a long process, and it hasn’t been just about the seal or the logo, it’s been community engagement, so that we were reflecting in our communication who we believe ourselves to be and where we believe we want to go,” Casillas said of the process. “And so it’s this like soft science of these intangible things with thousands of opinions, to come up with something that is a cohesive narrative of our aspirational selves.” 

The ordinance adopting the new city seal will have to come back before the council later this month for a final vote, before going into effect 30 days later. The city will then begin strategically rolling out the new city seal.

“It’s shocking when you go around our city, just how many places have our old seal on them — it’s on everything,” City Manager Jacob Ellis said. “So we’ll need to be thoughtful about how we replace that at appropriate times. We don’t want it to take too long, because we do have a new brand and a new program and a new seal and we want to embrace that, but at the same time, we need to be judicious about the funds that are spent on that, and so we’ll be thoughtful about that.”

A video of the meeting can be found here on the city’s website.

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