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About the California flag

The Bear Flag is the official flag of the state of California. The precursor of the flag was first flown during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt and was also known as the Bear Flag.

The bear on the current flag of California was modeled on the last wild 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. The bear was subsequently moved to Woodwards Gardens in 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.

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. After the survey was completed, NAVA members chose the flag of California to be ranked 13th out of the 72.