Know The Nation’s Flags: California State Flag

This short history looks into the origins and evolution of the state flag of California.

The United States is filled with many different stories and backgrounds. America’s state flags have rich histories that many people are not aware of. Many of us know California and its almighty bear sigil, but let’s look at how the California state flag originated and what it’s become today.

Prior to the early 1830’s, the territory now known as California resided under Mexican flag. But in 1836, a revolution at Monterey inspired the design for the original Bear Flag.

Image of the old California state flag.

The Grizzly Bear Flag was designed by William L. Todd in 1846, first raised in Sonoma, California. Todd paid homage to the California Lone Star Flag and the republic it represented by painting a star in the corner (Flag Fact: the star was originally painted with blackberry juice).

After the territory was reclaimed by the US Navy, the California Republic flag was taken down and replaced with the Stars and Stripes. The Bear Flag that flew over Sonoma was given later given to the California State Senators John Weller and William Gwin. It was then donated to the Society of California Pioneers in San Francisco during 1855. Unfortunately, the flag did not survive the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Image of the California state flag.

Today, California now flies the new state flag that was adopted in 1911. The new flag remembers its history with the words “California Republic” and the lone star, featuring the grizzly bear front and center. The bear used in the current flag was modeled after “Monarch”, the last Californian grizzly bear in captivity.

With their strong and defiant history, Californians wave the Bear Flag high above their government buildings, remembering where they came from.

Source: Wikipedia

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