The state flag of California was officially adopted in 1911. A few years before California was admitted into the Union, a small group of American settlers marched on the Mexican garrison, took the commander, Mariano Vallejo prisoner, and raised a bear flag at Sonoma on June 14, 1846. They issued a proclamation that declared California to be a Republic independent of Mexico. This historical moment had come to be known as the Bear Flag Revolt.
The flag was designed by William Todd, cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, on a piece of new unbleached cotton. The star imitated the lone star of Texas. A grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the state as well as strength. The word, “California Republic” was placed beneath the star and bear.
Symbols on the California Flag
White – Purity
Bear – Strength