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General background about the California Flag

California Flag     California Great Seal


  Long Beach
  Los Angeles
  San Diego
  San Francisco
  San Jose

Often called the 'Bear Flag', California's state flag features a grizzly bear walking upon a grass plat above the words 'California Republic' over a wide red strip running the length of the bottom border. A red star graces the upper left corner, and all of these images are set on a field of white.

  • MOTTO: "Eureka!"
  • ENTERED UNION: Sept. 9, 1850
  • FLAG ADOPTED: 1911
  • COMMENTS: The five-pointed star on the flag was included in the design to make reference to Texas, the Lone Star State, as both California and Texas were originally states of Mexico and fought for independence from Mexico.


The original version of the flag, flown by the pioneers after the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, just north of San Francisco, was designed by William Todd (cousin or nephew to Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the future President, Abraham Lincoln). Unfortunately the original Bear Flag was lost during the San Francisco earthquake of  1906. The new and improved flag utilized all of the original images and words, as borrowed from the Bear Flag Revolt. In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial, and Canadian provincial flags and ranked the flag of California 13th.


California Flag
State Flag, California




  • More Native Americans live in California than in any other U.S. state.
  • California grows more than half the nation's fruits, nuts, and vegetables; in addition, it produces more milk than the state of Wisconsin.
  • Lake Tahoe has enough water to flood California to a depth of 14 inches.
  • California has the highest and the lowest points in the lower 48 states: Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet, and Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level.
  • The world's largest solar power plant is located near San Luis Obispo. Known as The  Topaz project, or Topaz Solar Farm, it is now in full operation with a capacity of  550 MW capacity (2015 est.).
  • California contains the tallest, biggest, and oldest trees in the world: a 368-foot-tall coast redwood, a giant sequoia measuring 275 feet high by 103 feet around, and a 4,700 year-old bristlecone pine.


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