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Leroy “Buddy” Gibson Jr. shares story of first Ventura County flag

OXNARD, Calif.-When Ventura County Supervisors chose a county flag this summer they thought it was the first county flag, but it turns out the flag with the Anacapa Island Arch Rock is the second.

Leroy "Buddy" Gibson Jr. remembers designing the first flag, back in 1976.

Gibson, 85, said it included a condor flying over an outline of the county along with the message "Founded in 1873." That was after the county split from Santa Barbara County.

The condor ended up creating a controversy in the Star-Free Press newspaper.

Some people considered it a vulture, while others considered it beautiful.

Now endangered there is a Sespe Condor Sanctuary to protect the species.

Gibson who lives in Oxnard and often has coffee at the Heritage Coffee & Gifts has a book on the shelf there for sale that mentions the flag, and a scrapbook full of letters and articles about the flag.

He also has and a black and white photo-copy of the original color design.

Gibson who grew up in Ventura's Tortilla Flats before the 101 Freeway paved over the neighborhood, worked for the county after a career as a dancer and musician.

He thought he had won a flag contest with a financial prize, but the flag was soon forgotten.

He thought his race might have had something to do with it.

Gibson said,"To go 46 years later, finding out that someone else is coming in with a new flag as the first flag and still no recognition, actually I owe it to the community to make the story straight."

As soon as Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks heard about Gibson's flag she decided to help set the record straight. She looked into the flag's history.

Parks said the board will be recognizing Gibson's contribution to the county at a later date.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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