Saturday, November 24, 2012

William L. Todd, Bear Flag Revolt

After watching the Lincoln movie, I was reminded of the role Mary Lincoln's nephew played in the Bear Flag Revolt.  It was he that created the Bear Flag which was raised in Sonoma on June 6, 1946 in which a few men declared their independence from Mexico and declared themselves the Republic of California.  William said he used blackberry juice for the star.  The star was to show sympathy for the Texans, and indicate in similar fashion California was leaving Mexico and hoping to join the United States.  The grizzly was added, a symbol of strength.  When General Vallejo, Mexican general taken captive at Sonoma, saw the flag, he said the grizzly looked more like a pig.  A bar of red cloth was sewn to the bottom of the flag, making a broad red stripe.  This is the basic design of the California Flag today.
picture of original flag which was destroyed in fire, San Francisco earthquake
recreation of original fag adding colors
California Flag
William Todd continued to help the revolters, running recannsance.  A couple of those with this duty were captured by Californios and murdered.  William Todd was also captured.  However the Bear Flag revolt was able to rescue him before he received a similar fate.
Those of the Bear Flag thought they would meet the same fate as the Alamo.  They prepared for final value as what they thought what was the Mexican Army approached.  However they discovered it to be General Fremont and his men of the U.S. Army.  The Mexican Army stayed in the Monterrey area, and did not challenge the Bear Flag Revolt.

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