State Flag

State Flag

The California State Flag, also known unofficially as the “Bear Flag,” is the oldest unofficial State Symbol. Though it came into existence during the short-lived Bear Flag Revolt in the spring of 1846, it was not officially adopted as California’s official State Flag until 1911. Its full design and color scheme were not settled upon by the Legislature until 1953.

The final flag design was adopted from the now lost Bear Flag, employing a red star in the upper left corner and a red stripe at the bottom. Above the stripe is the legend “California Republic.” The image of the California grizzly bear that is emblazoned in the center was inspired by a nineteenth century painting by California artist Charles Nahl.

(Statutes, Chapter 2, 1911)

Explore our State Symbols

  • State Amphibian - Red Legged Frog
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    State Symbols
    Amphibian - Red Legged Frog
    California red-legged frogs are an endangered species due to the loss of habitat, invasive species, and water pollution.
  • State Animal
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    State Symbols
    Animal - California Grizzly Bear
    The loss of habitat and over-hunting by a rapidly growing human population led to their complete extinction by the 1920s.
  • State Bird - California Valley Quail
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    State Symbols
    Bird - California Valley Quail
    California Valley Quail live from Canada to Mexico and from the Pacific coast to Utah.