California Culture


Westminster, CA Is a Taste of Saigon

If you're driving down the street and notice a colorful flag waving in the breeze next to the red, white & blue American flag, can you identify the yellow flag with three ride stripes? If you guess that it represents the  Que Can, or Qian trigram, also known as the three regions of Vietnam (North, Central, and South,) then you'd be correct! Pat yourself on the back--but not before ordering some Kentucky Ga Chien. The Colonel is smiling and the sign says KFC, so you probably can fill in the blanks.

Apartment signs, shopping center signs, restaurants and most everything in sight (including holidays) look different. There used to be red phone booths representing a place in the UK, which the Orange County city was presumably named after. But when you head to the city's civic center today, the first sign that things have changed is the welcome from Mayor Tri Ta. He was elected on November 6, 2012 and became the first Vietnamese American elected mayor in the United States.

In the 1980s Southeast Asian refugees fled from the conflict in their homelands, relocating to this area and opened over 500 businesses along Bolsa Avenue area now known as Little Saigon. Of the 90,000 or so residents in Westminster, approx. 50% are of Asian decent, 25% white, and 25% Hispanic.

The city website is presented in English, with Vietnamese or Korean language viewing options. 

Near City Hall is the Vietnam War Memorial at  14180 All American Way.  Dedicated in 2003, the Vietnam War Memorial Project was designed by sculptor/designer Tuan Nguyen.

For information about trade and commerce in Westminster, you can contact the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce (

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Near Westminster