October 8, 2006
he Mission Inn escutcheon (also known as a “coat of arms”) was the symbol or “house mark” for the hotel. Each element of the escutcheon relates in some way to the Mission Inn. Artist William Alexander Sharp, who created many pieces of art for hotel owner Frank Miller, designed the escutcheon. The symbol is on display throughout the hotel, including a large plaque at the main entrance and stained glass windows in several guestrooms.
St. Francis appears on the left side of the escutcheon, with Father Serra on the right, a Native American on the lower left, and the Raincross symbol at the top. Despite the fact that the orange is important to the history of both the Mission Inn and Riverside, the escutcheon bears no images of citrus fruit. The colors used on the escutcheon, however, are significant. The background represents the California Missions with whitewashed adobe walls, while the green on the shield represents the deep dark green leaves of the Washington Navel tree, and the color orange represents its fruit.