California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850 and the Bear Flag became the ofﬁcial state ﬂag in 1911. This version of the Bear Flag was created in 1846 when a group of American men living in Mexican-controlled Alta California rebelled against their government.
They created a ﬂag to represent their cause. It is said that William Todd, nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, helped with the creation of the ﬂag. The Bear Flaggers, as they would later be called, used a piece of cotton and placed a red stripe at the bottom. They then painted a red star, inspired by the Texas state ﬂag, the words California Republic and a grizzly bear to symbolize their determination.