The internet hoax and urban legend debunking site, Snopes.com, had a neat little hoax of its own with regard to the origins of the flag of California:
The story goes as follows:
Back in 1846, Capt. Jedediah Bartlett, leader of a band of rebels fighting against the Mexican authorities in California, supposedly drew up a flag for the future state. On it he included a lone star and a pear, adopted to represent the emerging republic's horticulture. He was also an amateur plant hybrid scientist, and developed the juicy Bartlett pear. His words on the design instructions were misread and the flag maker inserted a bear on the flag instead of a pear. Whoops, his bad. But when they got the Bear Flag, they liked it.
Since then, California had a bear on its state flag.
Can you bear with me on this? The Museum of Hoaxes reports this as being a hoax. And a careful reading of the Lost Legends category would establish that the Pear Flag was really made up.
Apparently, I just didn't read it right the first time. Darn it, I like the pear flag. It's cute.
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