California

The Golden State

The Original

The elements to the flag include

  • White field

  • Red Star

  • Grizzly bear on grass

  • “California Republic”

  • Red bar

The flag of California was adapted February 3, 1911.

This is a very popular flag, well used by the citizens of the state. It doesn’t have the best design elements to it, but the North American Vexillology Association ranked it 13th in their 2001 survey of the 72 American and Canadian flags.

Keep it simple: The bear has lots of details, lots of little hairs, that are lost when viewed from far away (like on a flag pole). The patch of grass it walks on is also not simple.

Use meaningful symbolism:  The star is symbolic of the first flag of California. They, like Texas, declared their independence from Mexico and used the Lone Star as a symbol of that independence. The bear is based off “Monarch”, the last California grizzly bear in captivity.

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see five colors colors being used. This is one of four state flags not to have blue.

No lettering or seals: This flag has lettering on it, “California Republic”. There is no seal.

Be distinctive or be related: This is a really distinct flag. It is used often by its citizens and is like no other state flag.

The Redesign

Keep it simple: I simplified the state flag. The bear has been simplified to a sillouette and I have taken out the grass patch he stood on. 

Use meaningful symbolism: The symbolism is the same.

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see two colors being used.

No lettering or seals: I have taken out the lettering and there is no seal.

Be distinctive or be related: This flag is distinct while being simple.