Did You Know?
California State Flag
The Bear Flag is the State Flag of California. The original Bear Flag was raised at Sonoma on June 14, 1846 by Americans who proclaimed California independent of Mexico in what became called the Bear Flag Revolt. This flag, also known as the Todd Flag, was designed by William Todd, a nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the future president. It featured a star and a grizzly bear on a white background. Below the bear and above a broad red stripe in black letters were the words "California Republic". The Todd Flag was destroyed in the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906 but served as a prototype for the California State Flag.
The Bear Flag was adopted as the official flag of California in 1911. The current design followed several makeovers of the original and was done by California historian and artist Donald Kelley in 1953.
The symbolism of the flag:
- Grizzly bear: strength
- Red in the star and bar: courage
- Star: sovereignty
- White background: purity
- A Companion to California
Hart, James D. Berkeley, CA. University of California Pr. 1987.
- State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. Shearer. Westport, Ct. Greenwood Press, 1994.
Last updated by teeterj on Oct. 31, 2011
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