Official California State Flag - Bear Flag
The official California State Flag also known as The Bear Flag would be a welcomed addition to any flag enthusiast's collection. With this flag being one of the most recognizable and unique designs, you can easily see why. The United States Flag Store offers the California Republic flag in a variety of sizes, from smaller sized stick flags that look great on a desk in the office or at home to a giant 12 x 18 foot nylon flag fit for flying commercially. Most of our products will ship within 3-5 business days. All of our California State flags are suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
Colors, Animal, Design - What does the California flag look like?
The California State Flag is one of the more distinct state flags in our inventory. The colors in this design are White, Old Glory Red, Maple Sugar (light brown), Seal (darker brown) and Irish Green.This final iteration of the flag sees a grizzly bear (made of both light and darker browns) walking towards the left on a patch of green grass, a red five point star in the upper left corner with the words California Republic (in the darker brown) below the bear and a red stripe below all on a white field.
History of the California Republic State Flag - Independence
The history of the California Republic State Flag has seen multiple versions and variations and would be shrouded in a bit of mystery with specifics to it's creation and even debut. The original Bear Flag was created by Peter Storm, which saw this iteration with a larger red stripe taking up almost half the flag and a smaller bear which would be standing on his hind legs. William Todd would also take a crack at this design, although it is unclear as to when he made it. Todd's flag would be raised in Sonoma, California by men who would be known as "Bear Flaggers," during what's known as the "Bear Flag Revolt," in June of 1846, circa the 14th through the 17th. It would be taken down less than a month later on July 9th, 1846 and replaced with the "Stars and Stripes," by Navy Lieutenant Joseph Revere. John E. Montgomery, son of Commander John B. Montgomery of USS Portsmouth, was given the Bear Flag and wrote to his mother about it saying "Cuffy came down growling," "Cuffy" was the nickname he gave the bear on the flag.
Why is there a red star on the California flag?
The Red Star is the remanence of what was once the Lone Star Flag of California. This dates back to the state's independence from Mexico, led by Juan Alvarado in 1836. Although technically not part of the United States at this point, it was negotiated that California would be a "department," under Mexico law. It wouldn't be until the beginning pf 1848 that California would finally be under control of American power. The United States would see this with the purchase of the land from Mexico after a grueling two year war. The Lone Star flag would be under the guise of Alvarado's coup within the public's perception. It's also thought that this Lone Star design was an homage to the Texas Flag at the time. Texas had just became an independent state and was technically still not officially part of the United States. The red star is now seen as a symbol for sovereignty.
What does the bear on the California flag mean?
The bear on the California flag is a Grizzly Bear. And honestly, it depends on who you ask with this one. As with anything in history, if it wasn't tediously documented and recorded, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. There are theories as to it representing great strength and courage, as seen with a Grizzly Bear. And then there is the notion that it merely represents the prominent and powerful creature that once roamed through the state.
California State Facts - Just For Fun
- The California State Flag is only one of four United States flags to not include the color blue in the design. The other three are Alabama, Maryland and New Mexico.
- The White on the flag of California is thought to stand for purity.
- The state animal of California is the Grizzly Bear.
- California is the 3rd largest state by area in the United States just after Alaska and Texas with 163,696 square miles.
- California has over 100,000 earthquakes a year on average. Fortunately, a lot of these are very miniscule in their effect.
- One of California's top exports is almonds.
- The state tree of California is the California redwood which can grow to be 380 feet tall and 16 to 18 feet wide. This is obviously just what's been documented, they might be able to grow larger, given time. And speaking of time, it's estimated that some of these larger trees are anywhere from 1,800 and 2,700 years old.
- There are dozens of parks in California that have the word "Redwood," in it. This is because redwood trees are so plentiful and everywhere throughout the state.
- San Fransico survived the Great Depression with none of it's banks going bankrupt.
- California was once called "The Grizzly Bear State." Although with the eradication within California's borders of the grizzly, thanks to hunting, the Grizzly hasn't been seen in California for over a century. This is because early settlers of the state had turmoil with the dominant animal. Grizzlies would stand their ground, refusing to leave as settlers came in and attack livestock and farmers, claiming the territory as their own. California has since been nicknamed "The Golden State."