California Bear Flag

Creator: William Todd

Context: This flag was created by American citizens who had moved west and proclaimed California's independence as the "Bear Flag Republic" in 1846.

Audience: American and Mexican residents of California as well as the Mexican and American governments.

Purpose: To declare California's independence so that it could join the United States.

Historical Significance: This flag, which borrowed its lone star from the flag of Texas, indicated the desire of these settlers to follow Texas' path of declaring independence from Mexico and then becoming annexed to the United States.