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Los Gatos, California (U.S.)

Santa Clara County

Last modified: 2023-07-08 by rick wyatt
Keywords: los gatos | california | santa clara county |
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[Los Gatos town flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 October 2009 and Masao Okazaki, 14 June 2023
based on image located by Valentin Poposki, 15 January 2008,

See also:

Description of the flag

"Los Gatos is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,592 at the 2000 census. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the edge of Silicon Valley on the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Homes are mostly upscale, varying from one million-dollar cottages in the village itself to 7- or 8-million-dollar large custom homes in the surrounding hills. The town is noted for its small but upscale downtown, with many chic shops and restaurants. It is also a preferred destination for antique shopping.

The name Los Gatos is Spanish, meaning the cats. The name derives from the 1839 Alta California land-grant that encompassed the area, which was called Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos, ("the corner of the cats"), where "the cats" refers to the wild cats (bobcats and mountain lions) that are indigenous to the Santa Cruz Mountains in whose foothills the town is nestled." - from Wikipedia:,_California.

A photo of the flag can be seen in Waymarking website:
Valentin Poposki, 15 January 2008

At the seal is in the standard circular format, with an outer ring in old gold. At the top of this outer ring, in compressed bold- face black block letters, are the words 'TOWN OF', while similarly written at the bottom are the words 'LOS GATOS.' Flanking either side of the central image are two California mountain lions seated gardant; they are outlined in black but appear to be albinos as they are both white except for their features, limbs, etc. Presumably these are the 'gatos' of the town name. The central image itself features a golden sun rising into a pale orange sky, with narrow golden rays emanating from it. The sun is rising from behind a line of trees, while running from the immediate foreground to the trees is agricultural land. Both the line of trees and the plowed ground are in contrasting shades of green.
Ron Lahav, 13 January 2005

Actually the plowed ground is more of a light golden brown, the sky is white, but pierced by numerous golden rays from the sun, and the plants look more like shrubs or maybe grape vines than trees. Also note that here too an incorporation date is included- I think 1883- See the larger image at . Further, I doubt those are meant to be mountain lions- the town's name was given for the local wildcats. See . Several other websites say the cats on the seal are modeled after two sculptures in town, but fail to say what species of cat those sculptures were meant to represent.
Ned Smith, 14 January 2005

The two large felines on the current seal do represent the name of our town, which means 'the cats' in Spanish. The mountain range between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz (on the Pacific Coast) has always been prime mountain lion country. Sightings of the big cats still occur, and are increasing as humans crowd into what was once wildlands. Bobcats also live in our area, but there is little doubt that town's symbol incorporates the image of the larger cat, Felis concolor, the mountain lion.

The town has apparently had several iterations of mountain lions and oak trees on its seals through the years, in fact since the town was incorporated in 1887. In 1839 the Mexican land grant of more than 6000 acres to Sebastian Peralta and José Hernandez was El Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos, and so references to the big cats go back at least that far. .. . The town has never, to the best of my knowledge, had its own flag. The current logo design, with two cats, a vineyard, the mountains, and the sun, was first used in the 1960s. I find no record of it ever have been officially adopted; I have been told that the town has no official seal as such.

The cats on the seal are probably modeled on those which guard the entrance to 'The Cats' estate just south of town, the home of Colonel Charles Erskine Scott Wood and his wife, the poet Sara Bard Field. The large cement cats were sculpted in 1922 by Robert Trent Paine. They still stand today. . . .
Peggy Conaway, 11 March 2005

Facebook photos of the flag:
Masao Okazaki, 14 June 2023


[Los Gatos seal] image by Masao Okazaki, 14 June 2023