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Antonio Maria Osio HISTORY OF ALTA CALIFORNIA, completed in April 1851, regarding the Bear Flag:

       When Fremont and Gillespie finally met, they discussed different ways they might initiate hostilities without implicating their government.  It was imperative that the United States government not be accused of taking over a defenseless foreign territory solely by force, and it did not want to appear to be acting in bad faith, since both nations were bound by treaties and war had not been declared between them.  Therefore, in order to conceal their true intent, or color it so that it would be more in keeping with public opinion, they decided to camouflage the flag of stars and strips with a temporary flag which depicted a brown bear on a white field and a star in the top corner.....

       After the Americans took possession of Sonoma under the command of Mr. Ide, or Don Cuero, which means the same thing, they raised the bear flag because they were not supposed to raise their national flag.....

 
January 31, 2007

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