In 1842, the United States military heard of humors that Britain was planning on taking over Monterey, California from the Mexican Government. As a response a commander sent U.S. Marines to take over the Mexican capital in California. After two days, when it was discovered the British were not taking over Monterey, the marines were ordered to leave and an apology was issued to the Mexican government.
However, the Mexicans refused to negotiate a sale of the lands within California to the United States due to incident which would lead some Americans settled in Mexican California to believe that some should finish the takeover that the marines had started.
The “Bear Flag Revolt” began when Americans, led by John Frémont, led a coup against General Vallejo and other Mexican authorities. A flag with a California grizzly bear and a single star was erected in downtown Sonoma.
Philip Andrew Hamilton by the statue honoring the site where the “Bear Flag” was first raised in Sonoma, California.