The Seal of the State of Jefferson

By Michael Orelove
Originally published in The Vexilloid Tabloid #31, December 2011

Kathleen Forrest and I recently drove from Portland to the San Francisco area and passed through the State of Jefferson (parts of southern Oregon and northern California).

We carried a flag of the State of Jefferson on their trip.  The flag bears a reproduction of the seal of the State of Jefferson—a gold pan with two large Xs, representing the feeling of being double crossed by the two state governments.

The original 1941 seal of the State of Jefferson, a gold pan with two Xs on the bottom and “The Great Seal of State of Jefferson” around the rim, shown with a contemporary State of Jefferson flag (no flags were created during the actual secession).
The original 1941 seal of the State of Jefferson, a gold pan with two Xs on the bottom and “The Great Seal of State of Jefferson” around the rim, shown with a contemporary State of Jefferson flag (no flags were created during the actual secession).

The original Jefferson Citizen’s Committee chose Yreka, California, as the interim state capital in November 1941.

The original seal of the State of Jefferson is at the Siskiyou County Museum in Yreka.   Kathleen and I went to the  museum to see the gold pan, which was in the vault.  After seeing our Jefferson flag and hearing that I was a member of the Portland Flag Association, the staff put on white gloves and brought out the pan from the vault.  I also put on white gloves and held both the pan and the flag for a photo.

The museum has wonderful exhibits about the Native American culture of the area and is a nice place to stop and visit if you are driving by on Interstate 5.

[ Note:  Ted Kaye’s comprehensive article on the Jefferson’s  history, flag, and symbols, “The State of Jefferson”, was published in The Flag Bulletin #150 (vol. 32, no. 1), Jan.–Feb. 1993, pp. 22–30.]

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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