Happy Birthday California!

State Flag Design

The modern state flag is white with a wide red strip along the bottom. There is a red star in the upper left corner and a grizzly bear facing left (toward the hoist) in the center, walking on a patch of green grass. The size of the bear is 2/3 the size of the hoist width and has a ratio of 2 by 1. The grass plot has a ratio of 11 to 1.The five-point star is taken from the California Lone Star Flag of 1836.

“Monarch” the bear.

Official rendering of the bear

The bear on one 1911 version of the flag is claimed to have been modeled on the last Californian grizzly bear in captivity. The bear, named “Monarch“, was captured in 1889 by newspaper reporter Allen Kelley, at the behest of William Randolph Hearst.[8] The bear was subsequently moved to Woodwards Gardensin San Francisco, and then to the zoo at Golden Gate Park. After the bear’s death in 1911, it was mounted and preserved at the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park.

While the bear flag was adopted in 1911, until 1953 the image of the bear varied depending on the flag manufacturer. In 1953 the bear image was standardized based on an 1855 watercolor by Charles Christian Nahl.

The 1953 law includes an official black and white rendering of the bear as well as the plot of grass and brown tufts. This drawing and other specifications that define the flag’s colors and dimensions are identified as “54-J-03”

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.

for more on the flag – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_California

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