The California flag proudly illustrates the state’s independence and strength. The Bear Flag, first raised in 1846 by a group of American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule, was designed by William Todd, nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln. Our indoor and outdoor California flags come in a variety of sizes—from mini to extra-large—in our exclusive nylon and polyester fabrics. Click on an image below to learn more about each flag or scroll down to keep reading about our catalog of California flags.
Background of the California Flag
The famous bear flag, created by William Todd (the nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's wife), was flown at Sonoma, California in 1846 by American immigrants in opposition to Mexican sovereignty (officially adopted as the state flag of California in 1911).
The once-common California grizzly bear, which is also the state animal, symbolizes strength, while the star, the red stripe, the word "courage," and the white background indicate purity.
A small group of settlers attacked the Mexican garrison at Sonoma on June 14, 1846 and captured the commandant. They published a proclamation in which they proclaimed Mexico's independence from California as a Republic.
The hurriedly created flag, which featured a grizzly bear and a five-pointed star over a red bar and the words "California Republic," gave rise to the nickname "Bear Flag Revolt" for this insurrection.
The star was a nod to the Lone Star of Texas, and the grizzly bear was a representation of enormous strength. Only until July 9, 1846, when it became known that Mexico and the United States were already at war, did the flag fly. The American flag quickly took the place of the Bear Flag. In 1911, the State Legislature designated it as the State Flag.
Fun Facts About the California Flag
The California flag is known as “the Bear Flag”
- As previously stated, the Free and Sovereign State of California was under repressive Mexican domination when the Grizzly Bear Flag was first created. Men who rapidly earned the nickname "Bear Flaggers," so dubbed for their participation in the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, California, flew The Bear Flag for the first time in June 1846. During the rebellion against Mexico, the Bear Flag was flown for a month before being replaced by the American flag with stars and stripes. The grizzly bear motif would not become a component of the official California state flag until 1911.
The bear’s name is Monarch
- According to William Trinkle, the founder of the Bear Flag Museum, during the California-Mexico conflict, California came up with the notion to "Put an emblem on the flag that would alarm the Mexican authorities, that these people were serious." And it appears that a bear was that symbol. A mile of horseback riding wouldn't go by without you spotting ten grizzly bears, according to Trinkle. Grizzly bears were very prevalent in California in the early to mid-1800s. Not so much anymore. In California, the brown grizzly is actually extinct. After less than a month, the settlers replaced the bear flag with the stars and stripes after learning that the United States had declared war on Mexico. But the grizzly bear continued to pique Californians' interest. However, an aspiring newspaper tycoon decided to put the bear back in the spotlight in 1889, according to a southern California news website: In one of his very first publicity stunts, William Randolph Hearst sought to transport a live California Grizzly Bear to San Francisco. It was time for the glamour after he got the bear. Hearst gave the bear the name Monarch and displayed him in Golden Gate Park. There you have it! Monarch is the name of the bear. Monarch sadly passed away in 1911, and after his fur was stuffed and shown at the California Academy of Sciences, his skeleton was sent to the Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. But in the same year, California ultimately approved a state flag that included a grizzly bear that was based on Monarch. Currently, the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park is housing and preserving the stuffed replica of Monarch.
The red star was inspired by the Texas state flag
- According to the California Military Department, the star on the flag originated in the 1836 California Lone Star Flag, representing independence, even though Monarch the California Grizzly is a representation of immense strength.
The California flag is ranked #13
- When the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) polled its members in 2001 about the 72 state, territory, and provincial flags of the United States and Canada, California's design came in at #13 overall.
Is the governor’s flag similar to the state flag?
- The California Governor's flag is distinct from the state flag, unlike some states. The California state seal is displayed in the center of an azure background on the flag of the governor of California. There are four five-point stars in each corner of the field, just like the majority of American governors' flags.
FAQ About the California Flag
How old is the California Republic flag?
- Though formally adopted in 1911 as the official state flag, its origins date back to a short-lived revolt in 1846.
Why does the California state flag say “CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC”?
- The Bear Flag Revolt of 1846 saw American immigrants in Mexican Alta (upper California) proclaim a new republic. This had a very brief existence because it was lost during the Mexican American War, which saw the Americans conquer California and a large portion of what is now the western United States. California became the Union's 31st state as a result of this admission. The phrase "California Republic" lives on in this way even though the state was never recognized as an independent republic and chose not to adopt its flag.
What California State Flags Does Carrot-Top Offer?
Carrot-Top currently offers indoor, outdoor, and flag sets of California flags!
The ideal flag for inside events such as parades, courtrooms, courts, and schools is the indoor California flag. These flags are made of Beacon® nylon, a material only available from Carrot-Top. These flags include complex lock stitching to avoid fraying, brilliant bright colors, and nylon that is tightly woven and durable. Our indoor California flags are finished with plush conventional gold fringe on the other two sides and a lined pole sleeve along the left side. There are two sizes of these flags: 3'x 5' and 4'x 6'. The 8' indoor/parade flagpole or our proprietary Majestic Telescopic flagpole works well with the 3'x5' Indoor flag. The 9' indoor/parade flagpole and one of our Majestic Telescopic Flagpoles work well with the 4'x6' Indoor flag. These flags are always proudly Made in the USA.
You'll have plenty of chances to show off your admiration for the wonderful state of California with our Outdoor California state flag. These outdoor flags come in two different sizes and two distinct fabrics. California Outdoor flags are offered in Patriarch® polyester and Beacon® nylon. To fit your area and the weather, pick the right flag and size. Our California state flags have fine lock stitching, brilliant, vibrant colors, and the best materials available. These flags are made of Patriarch® polyester and Beacon® nylon. Both fabrics are Carrot Top exclusives.
Your decorative requirements will be perfectly met by our California Flag Sets. The Flag Sets from Carrot Top come with a wide range of possibilities, giving you the freedom to create the desired appearance. Choose the finishes and flag size that you require from our collection. These Flag sets are the ideal way to demonstrate your admiration for the wonderful state of California, whether for parades or an inside display. With our flag sets, you're in control of creating the style you want.
Contact Our Carrot-Top Team Today!
Our Carrot-Top Customer Care Team is eager to assist you with your order today. Contact Us Today with any questions you may have regarding California flags or our American flags, all proudly made in America!