joy magnetism: Bear Flag Republic

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bear Flag Republic

Magnet #699 - California Republic

I picked this magnet today because it's been ages since I've mentioned my obsession about bears seriously, dudes, what is going on with California weather?

I'll be thinking good thoughts for all of ya'll, but I'm telling you, this is the precise reason why I've not moved my East Coast Girl self over there. I'm convinced, as most disaster movies would have me believe, that the left coast will eventually fall off the continent. For serious, yo. Be safe, ya'll!

Back to this flag, though...I think I've mentioned before how utterly fascinated I am about the fact that while we all study United States history growing up, there are kids in our 50 individual states are learning 50 different sets of statehood history. So like, I know a thousand things about North Carolina history, but absolutely none about say, California. C'mon! That's kinda cool.

To wit: I didn't even know there was such as thing as the Bear Flag Republic, or their revolt (!) which took place during the Mexican-American War, in 1846 in Sonoma, when 33 settlers said, "Nu-uh, you'll not make us yours, Mexico!" and created the California Republic. Whiiiiiich lasted 26 days.

What's crazy, is that they staged this rebellion in June, and they didn't know that the US had declared war against Mexico back in May, and they didn't find out until July! That's a TV-movie right there.

I had a whole thing written here about the original flag designed by Mary Todd Lincoln's first cousin, and had a statant (standing) black bear, versus the modern, en passant (walking) grizzly, who was modeled after Monarch, the last California grizzly in captivity. But, the State of California's written a whole booklet on the flags that have flown over California.

A. Whole. Booklet. Here.

But, if you get a hankerin', apparently, Monarch was preserved, and now hangs out over at the California Academy of Sciences. Sniffle.
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Your Nose Is Quite Big said...

Aw, California! But black bears >>>>>> grizzlies! And I know, because I did a WHOLE project on bears when I was in sixth grade, and I still have the booklet (and by booklet, I mean big-ass flip-chart-size thing) I made for it. And my affinity for bears exists to this day. Well, black bears. Because they're nice, and also omgsocute. Grizzlies, not as much.

The Geek said...

Actually, it's only been seriously apocalyptic weather (flash flooding, lightning, hail, driving rain) when I'm in my car, going long, unsafe distances. As soon as I get to my destination and get drenched on my way into the building, the sun peeks out and we get a reprieve... until I head out to be car again.

No joke, on Tuesday I finished the last of my paperwork, and said to my coworker, "Okay, I'm headed home--" and was interrupted by a massive crash of thunder, and the sound of rain suddenly pounding against the window. Seriously??? It hadn't rained more than a light drizzle since I entered the building at 8am!

Good thing I drive my fabulous Honda Element. That thing is a tank. Someone on the road wants to mess with me? I'll win. :)

Glor said...

The California Academy of Sciences is a scary place. There is an earthquake machine there that tries to trap small children and shake them to death. I'm still traumatized.

But, yes, we were totally our own state first! Just like Texas.

The Geek said...

Ohhh... DON'T compare us to Texas, please. :(

Kidding! I've got lots of friends from Texas, no real animosity here. And I totally remember that earthquake machine from a 3rd grade field trip! Totally fun. Much better than a real one. :)

joy said...

Hahaha. I love how one flag spurred on this conversation. Heh.

@Nose, I love that you still have your black bear project. I'm sad I never did a project on bears!

@GG, I wondered how ya'll were taking all the bad weather last week. Kinda scary with all the news reports. But, I'm glad you're ok.

@glor, CAS is one of those museums I haven't been to, but would very much like to. The building looks superdupercool from the outside!