San Diego Image Department Chief Brad Spinner today unveiled the new city seal at a press conference, and also provided an explanation for the changes he implemented.
"The first thing, the very first thing I noticed on the old seal were the two ribbons: in particular, the fact that they were totally unadorned. It just didn't make sense. They're banners, and banners are for putting something out there, whether it be your family crest, your favorite sports team, or your brand of car insurance. In this case, it was tremendously significant that the ribbons were encircling pillars. Tourism will always be the pillar of our economy here in San Diego, so the obvious choice was to offer sponsorship opportunities to the San Diego Zoo and Legoland. I'll thank you in advance for not asking about SeaWorld. They were only too happy to get on board."
"Next," continued Spinner, "I wanted to find a way to honor both the hardworking common people of San Diego and the plutocratic power brokers who actually make decisions about how this city works. The earth mover was perfect: the tool of the blue-collar construction worker, but also the tool of the big-time real estate developer. And while earth movers move earth, what they really move is money. The dollar signs are there to acknowledge that. It replaces the mission bell that used to sit atop the seal, and rightly so. It's been a hundred years since the Church had any real power in the public sphere, and on top of that, any depiction of the mission is a backwards-looking look into the past. San Diego is a city with its eyes on the future."
The old seal featured a tree, just like the new one. "But," said Spinner, "the old tree had leaves. Talk about a cognitive dissonance. Look around you. If you see a tree on public land that somehow hasn't been cut down by our Drought Response Team, then it sure as heck doesn't have much in the way of leaves. As San Diego enters a century-long megadrought — and don't let any talk of El Niño fool you — lack of water is going to become the single biggest factor in policy decisions. It's important that our seal reflect that fact."
Finally, "the image of the Predator drone symbolizes our proud reputation as a military city, as well as our proud reputation as a city on the cutting edge of technology, as well as our proud reputation for collaboration between the public and private sectors. A much better choice than, say, Petco Park or the new Chargers stadium. And also a fine update on the old seal's sailing ship. That was the vessel of another empire. But the drone is the vessel of the American empire. Plus, it ties in nicely with the city's motto of Semper Vigilans, which we didn't need to change at all."