The official flag of the state of California (also known as the Bear Flag) has a grizzly bear above the words “California Republic” and a red stripe on a white field with a red star in the upper hoist corner. The design was based on the flag that was flown during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt. The state flag of California was created on June 14, 1846 in Sonoma, California. It was designed by William Todd, a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln. The bear image on the original flag was drawn by William Todd and the bear on the current flag was created by Don G. Kelley, the founding editor of Pacific Discovery magazine. The five-pointed star on the flag was originally put there to reference Texas, the Lone Star State, as both California and Texas were states of Mexico and fought for independence from Mexico.
California State Flag
California flag origin
Why is there a grizzly bear on the California flag?On June 10, 1846, a group of Americans living in California revolted against Mexican government. They designed flag, nicknamed 'Bear flag', depicting a grizzly bear and a five pointed star over a red bar and the words "California Republic". The grizzly bear was chosen as it is a symbol of great strength and tenacity. They wanted to convey their formidable strength and tenacity to their enemy. The current California flag was based on the 'Bear flag' and still conveys its strength and resiliance to its friends and foes. The bear on the flag has no name, but a California grizzly bear called Monarch served as the model for the bear image on the flag. In 1889, newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst sent a newspaper reporter named Allen Kelley to capturing the last wild gizzly bear of California by giving a blank check and a large staff to accomplish this task. After six months of searching, Allen Kelley and his crew found the Monarch Bear in the Ojia Valley, Ventura County, near Los Angeles. He was brought to San Francisco on November 3rd, 1889 and was made an exhibit at Woodwards Gardens in San Francisco. Opening day, November 10th, 1889, saw over 20,000 people visiting the Monarch Bear at Woodwards Gardens. Monarch lived for 22 years in captivity in San Francisco. Weighing about 1,220 pounds, Monarch was the largest bear ever held captive.
What does the red star on the California flag represent
Why is there a red star on the California flag and what does it mean?The five-pointed star on the flag was originally put there to reference Texas, the Lone Star State, as both California and Texas were states of Mexico and fought for independence from Mexico. William L. Todd, a nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, designed the first 'Bear flag' of California in its revolt against Mexico. He chose a California grizzly bear to represent the strength of the California and a red star to symbolize its solidarity with Texas, the 'friendly' state which was also fighting a war with Mexico in its bid for independence.
California flag history
How did California get its flag?In the early 1840s, increasing influx of American and foreign visitors to the Mexican territory 'Alta California' made the local Mexican citizens uncomfortable. Tensions between Mexicans and Americans reached a flash point in 1846. Conflicts between Mexico and Texas escalted and US declared a war against Mexico on May 13, 1846, but the news did not reach 'Alta California' until July 1846. On June 10, 1846, a group of Americans living in California revolted against Mexican government by forcibly taking a string of horses from a Mexican Lieutenant. On June 14, 1846, they marched on the Mexican garrison at Sonoma and took the commandant, Mariano Vallejo, prisoner. They issued a proclamation which declared California to be a Republic, independent of Mexico. This uprising became known as the Bear Flag Revolt after the hastily designed flag depicting a grizzly bear and a five pointed star over a red bar and the words "California Republic." The grizzly bear was a symbol of great strength while the lone star made reference to the lone Star of Texas. This insurgency is now known as Bear Flag Revolt. The republic lasted only for about 24 days as the U.S. Flag was raised by the American Navy at Monterey in Alta California on July 7, 1846. California legislature recognized the 'Bear Flag' as the official state flag in 1911. When the flag is displayed vertically, it is rotated 90 degrees clockwise such that the bear and star face upward and red stripe is on the left