If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a flag is a whole textbook.
Our state flag is a record of California history that experts read like a secret code. Every part carries some meaning, from hoist to fly end.
Like the US flag, California’s red stripe and star (and the bear’s tongue) symbolize courage, while the white field symbolizes purity. With the green under the bear’s feet, our flag shares a color scheme with Mexico’s. In that flag, green represents hope and victory.
A flag’s canton is its upper lefthand corner, where the fifty stars are in the US flag. California has just one star.
If that reminds you of Texas’s Lone Star flag, you’re on the money: both states gained independence from Mexico and briefly became independent republics. As Texas gained statehood just five years before California, we took inspiration from the Lone Star State.
In case you didn’t know, the grizzly on our flag has a name: Monarch.
San Diego’s flag
The city’s official seal adorns the center and beneath that it reads “1542,” nod to the year Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo entered a “very good enclosed port” — aka San Diego Bay — claiming the area for Spain.
Meanwhile, we have a San Diego County flag, too — and it’s red, white, and green, with the county seal at its center. The colors signify San Diego’s ties to Spain, Mexico, and California.