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Sonoma Plaza

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Sonoma Plaza is an eight-acre National Historic Landmark that is mostly park with many shade trees surrounded by historic buildings and quaint shops. In the middle of the plaza sits Sonoma's City Hall.

Besides being the centerpiece of the town, the plaza was the site of the Bear Flag Revolt.

In June 1846, a group of settlers occupied Sonoma Plaza, proclaimed a Republic of California, and raised the Bear Flag -- the inspiration for the state flag of California. William B. Ide was elected President of the new republic and declared independence from Mexico. On July 9, 1846, the Bear Flag was replaced by the flag of the United States. Today, a monument to the Bear Flag Revolt stands in Sonoma Plaza. Bear Flag MonumentExpand
Picture taken 1:00pm 19 Feb 2012

In addition to the rebel, the monument has two plaques that describe or picture the raising of the Bear Flag.

Bear Flag PlaqueExpand
PIcture taken 1:00pm 19 Feb 2012

The plaque reads...

This monument was erected by the Native Sons of the Golden West and the State of California to commorate the raising of the Bear Flag on this spot June 14, 1846 by the Bear Flag Party and their declaration of the freedom of California from Mexican rule. On July 9, 1846 the Bear Flag was hauled down and the American flag here raised in its place by Lieutenant Joseph W. Revere U.S.A. who was sent to Sonoma from San Francisco by Commander John B. Montgonery of the U.S. sloop of war Portsmouth following the raising of the American flag at Monterey July 7, 1846 by Commodore John Drake Sloat.

The plaque on the reverse side of the monument is an etched picture showing the flag being raised with Indian and American viewers. Bear Flag PlaqueExpand
Picture taken 1:01pm 19 Feb 2012
Picture taken 1:02pm 19 Feb 2012
The descriptive plaque has a bear looking out from the top of the plaque. For an interesting picture look across the plaque and get the bear looking out.

As with many things in history, even in this small plaza there seems to be a small disagreement as to just where the Bear Flag was actually raised.[Smile]

Here is another momument not far away from the one above. It says...

Jun 14, 1846
July 4, 1907

Bear Flag MemorialExpand
Picture taken 12:12pm 19 Feb 2012


Some of the other historic areas around the Mission:

  • Sonoma Plaza
  • The Sonoma Barracks
  • The Blue Wing Inn
  • The Toscano Hotel
  • La Casa Grande - General Vallejo's home before 1846
  • Lachryma Montis - General Vallego's home after 1850


Navigation for Mission San Francisco Solano:

Mission Home :: History :: Museum :: Chapel :: Courtyard :: Exterior :: Jorgensen Watercolors :: Sonoma Plaza :: Sonoma Barracks :: Lachryma Montis


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Copyright © 2012 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
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