American Citizens Stage A Revolt

On June 15, 1846, some thirty settlers, mostly American citizens, staged a revolt and seized the small Mexican garrison in Sonoma.

They raised the "Bear Flag" of the California Republic over Sonoma. The republic was in existence scarcely more than a week before the U.S. Army, led by Frémont, took over on June 23. The California state flag today is based on this original Bear Flag and still contains the words, "California Republic."

The original Grizzly Bear Flag was raised for the first time Sonoma, California in June 1846 on a date between the 14th and the 17th, by the men who became known as the "Bear Flaggers" led by William B. Ide. The exact creation date is at least somewhat unclear, however, U. S. Naval Lieutenant John Missroon reported the flag's existence as of June 17, 1846. California had been part of Mexico since Mexican independence in 1821 as the department of Alta California, and under the control of Spain for many years before that.