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California Flag Picture Gallery
These are actual photographs taken of existing California historical flags

1. Flags from the Early Period 1836-1855
        Beginnings of the Bear Flag Republic and Annexation

Image from Autry National Center
     
Image from Peter Loeser
Sutter's Fort Flag 1846
(modern student replica)


Image from James Ferrigan
Alvarado's "Lone Star" California Flag 1836
Oldest Remaining Flag in California
(Original - Autry National Center)
     
The Todd Bear Flag Republic 1846
(Flag Center replica)
Image from Autry National Center
     
Image from Autry National Center
The General Frémont Flag 1841
(Original - Autry National Center)
     
The General Frémont Flag 1841
(Obverse - Sewn on backside of the flag)
     
Storm Bear Flag 1846
(modern student replica)
     
Swasey Bear Flag 1846
(modern student replica)
     
Semple Bear Flag 1846
(modern student replica)
     
Ide Bear Flag 1846
(modern student replica)
     
California Battalion Guidon 1846
(modern student replica)
     
McChristian Bear Flag 1850
(modern student replica)
     
All the "modern student replicas" shown in this section were hand-made for a school presentation. They were all made 3'x5' except the California Battalion Guidon which was smaller and only 24" long.
Mexican Civil Flag 1846
(modern student replica)
     
 

2. Flags from the Antebellum Pre-Civil War Period of 1855-1861
        Bear flags used in statehood Parades to represent California, but they are not "state flags" because the State
        of California did not adopt them.

Image from Jeff R. Bridgman
     
Image from www.flagcenter.org
John Frémont Campaign Parade Flag
31-Star Republican Party (replica)
     
California Evergreen Home Guards Number 2
Santa Clara County - U.S. National Miliia Flag 1860

3. Flags from the Civil War Period 1861-1865
        Bears on flags used to indicate "California," i.e. California Hundred and California Battalion, and Bear flags
        thought to have been used by southern sympathizers.

Image from California State Capitol Museum
     
Image from California State Capitol Museum
The Major J. P. Gillis Confederate Flag 1861
Flag seized on Independence Day by Jack Biderman
     
California Battalion Colors, 2nd Massachusetts
(California Volunteers during Civil War c1861 to 1865)
Image from California State Capitol Museum
     
Image from California State Military Museum
Company A Guidon, 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry
(Guidon of the "California 100" Volunteers c1861 to 1865)
     
Company M Guidon, 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry
(California Volunteers during Civil War c1861 to 1865)
Image from California State Military Museum
     
Image from California State Military Museum
Company E Guidon, 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry
(California Volunteers during Civil War c1861 to 1865)
     
Battalion Standard, California Cavalry Battalion 1865
Image from California State Capitol Museum
     
Image from California State Capitol Museum
Company D Guidon, 2nd California Cavalry Volunteers
(California Volunteers during Civil War c1861 to 1865)
     
Company I Guidon, 2nd California Cavalry Volunteers
(California Volunteers during Civil War c1861 to 1865)
Image from California State Military Museum
     
Image from California State Military Museum
4th Infantry Regiment Standard, California Volunteers
California Volunteers during the Civil War c1861 to 1865
     
8th Infantry Regiment Colors, California Volunteers
California Volunteers during the Civil War c1861 to 1865
Image from California State Capitol Museum
     
Tuolumne Rangers, Company E Colors
2nd Regiment of Cavalry, c1861 to 1865
     

4. Flags from the Post-Civil War Period 1865-1896
        California Bear flags used by Native Sons of the Golden West; Native Daughters of the Golden West, Society
        of California Pioneers, etc. The Spanish-American War was fought during this time period.

Image from California State Capitol Museum
     
1st and 2nd Batallions, U.S. Infantry Volunteers
California Volunteers during Spanish-American War 1898
     

5. Flags from the California Bear Flag Period 1896-1911
        California Bear flags are used the represent California and promoted as the state flag.

Images provided by Bill Trinkle
     
Image from Bill Trinkle   Image from Bill Trinkle

Image from Bill Trinkle
The Semi-Centennial Bear Flag 1896
(Original - Sonoma Barracks Museum)
     
The Semi-Centennial Bear Flag 1896
(Closeups - Sonoma Barracks Museum)
Image from James Ferrigan
     
Image from James Ferrigan
California Bear Flag c1896 to 1911
(Swallow-tailed variant)
     
California Bear Flag 1896
(California Semi-Centennial Celebration)

6. California State Flags from 1911
        California officially adopted the Bear Flag in 1911, but until 1955 there are no official specifications, so the
        image of the bear in particular was very fluid.

Image from James Ferrigan      
Image from James Ferrigan
California State Flag of 1911
(pre-1955 manufacturer's variant)
     
California State Flag of 1911
(pre-1955 manufacturer's variant)

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