Bear Flag Movement

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Bear Flag Movement
Participant in the Sierran Civil War
Bear flag digital.png
The iconic bear flag of the movement
Active April 14, 1874 – November 11, 1877
Ideology Radical republicanism
National liberation
Leader Edmund York
Headquarters San Joaquin Bernheim, San Joaquin
Area of operations  Tahoe
 Santa Clara
 Central Valley
 San Francisco
Strength 28,000 (1876, peak)
14,000 (1877)
Originated as Radical Democratic-Republican soldiers, Mexican-American War veterans
Allies Second California Republic
United Farmers' Front
Nuavoo Legion
Opponents Sierran Crown Armed Forces
Sierran Jacobites
Crown Legion

The Bear Flag Movement, also known as the Bear Flag Army, commonly referred to as the Bear Flaggers or officially as the California Republican Army, was a revolutionary political movement and independent paramilitary organization active during the Sierran Civil War. It was formed from soldiers and civilians with military experience and were lead by veterans of the Mexican-American War who held pro-republican sentiments. They fought for the republicans during the civil war and were organized as part of the Second California Republic officially serving as part of its armed forces. It was founded and lead by Edmund York, a former commander of the Sierran Royal Army, and lead as the commander in the field while Isaiah Landon was the official commander-in-chief.

During the opening stages of the war, the Bear Flaggers played a major role in aiding the initial republican insurrections in the Styxie such as in San Joaquin, Tahoe, and Santa Clara where the provinces seceded and joined the Second California Republic and the Bear Flaggers repulsed attempts by monarchist troops to retake the break-away provinces. By autumn of 1874, the Bear Flaggers were fighting on two fronts; one against the monarchist troops and within the republic's territories with Jacobite militias harassing republican militiamen. In 1875, the Bear Flaggers successfully captured the province of San Francisco and captured the provincial capital after a two month long siege. Fortunes turned against them however when they were forced back from the southern parts of the Central Valley. By the end of the year, the Bear Flaggers fought desperate defense campaigns as the monarchists marched into the republic's heartland continued fighting until the war's end and Landon's surrender on November 11th, 1877.

In the years following the end of the war, an organization known as the Styxie Association for Bear Flag Veterans was created and helped advocate for their societal rehabilitation and re-assimilation into Sierran society. Many memorials have been erected dedicated to the Bear Flaggers and they are commonly celebrated in many local events and holidays within the Styxie, especially by the dissident republican movement. Today, the movement is honored by the Bear Flaggers Memorial Foundation and it pushes for equal and valid treatment towards how the movement is taught to kids in school when discussing the civil war. Many Sierran republicans honor the movement, but many monarchists criticize the movement citing crimes they committed against the Jacobites during the war.

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