Historic Bear Flag raised at Sonoma on June 14, 1846, by a group of American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was designed by William Todd on a piece of new unbleached cotton. The star imitated the lone star of Texas. A grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the state. The word, "California Republic" was placed beneath the star and bear. It was adopted by the 1911 State Legislature as the State Flag.
Rural rebellion brewing.
These rural folks, living in the shadow of the majestic Mount Shasta, believe that they are being driven away so that their communities can essentially go back to the wild, to conform to a modern environmentalist ethos that puts wildlands above humanity. As the locals told it during the Defend Rural America conference Oct. 22 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, environmental officials are treading on their liberties, traipsing unannounced on their properties, confronting ranchers with guns drawn to enforce arcane regulatory rules and destroying their livelihoods in the process.
The evening's main event: a panel featuring eight county sheriffs (seven from California, one from Oregon) who billed themselves as "Constitution sheriffs." They vowed to stand up for the residents of their communities against what they say is an unconstitutional onslaught from regulators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. In particular, they took issue with the federal government's misnamed Travel Management Plan, which actually is designed to shut down public travel in the forests.
Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood related the stir he caused when he said he "will not criminalize citizens for just accessing public lands." Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey reminded the crowd that county sheriffs are sworn to uphold the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." These are fighting words.
Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County said he was "ignorant and naïve about the terrible condition our state was in." He came to believe that people were being assaulted by their own government. "I spent a good part of my life enforcing the penal code but not understanding my oath." Wilson and other sheriffs said it is their role to defend the liberties of the people against any encroachments – even if those encroachments come from other branches of government.