California’s official seal and flag (which, interestingly enough, in its first iteration [pictured] shows the grizzly walking upright)
Before there were people on the earth, the Chief of the Sky Spirits grew tired of his home in the Above World, because the air was always brittle with an icy cold. So he carved a hole in the sky with a stone and pushed all the snow and ice down below until he made a great mound that reached from the earth almost to the sky. Today it is known as Mount Shasta. Then the Sky Spirit took his walking stick, stepped from a cloud to the peak, and walked down to the mountain. When he was about half-way to the valley below, he began to put his finger to the ground here and there, here and there. Wherever his finger touched, a tree grew. The snow melted in his footsteps, and the water ran down in rivers. The Sky Spirit broke off the small end of his giant stick and threw the pieces into the river. The longer pieces turned into beaver and otter; the smaller pieces became fish. When the leaves dropped from the trees, he picked them up, blew upon them, and so made the birds. Then he took the big end of his giant stick and made all the animals that walked on the earth, the biggest of which were the grizzly bears.
— from “When Grizzlies Walked Upright” in American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon 1984), Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz
Chief of the Sky Spirits is the creator figure in the creation myths of the Medoc, the indigenous people of northeastern California and central Southern Oregon (although they currently reside in Oregon and Oklahoma). In this account of creation, reported by ethnologist Ella E. Clark (1896–1998), Chief of the Sky Spirits creates all the animals — including the animal that graces California’s official seal and flag (which, interestingly enough, in its first iteration [pictured] shows the grizzly walking upright).