State of Alaska Flag
- Year First Flown: 1927
- Designed By: Benny Benson, a 13-year old living in Seward, Alaska
- Design: A royal blue flag with eight yellow stars depicting the Big Dipper constellation and the year 1867 underneath.
- Meaning: The blue field represents the Alaskan sky and the color of the state flower (the forget-me-not), the North Star symbolizes the future of the state of Alaska, and the dipper constellation (a part of a larger constellation called Ursa Major or Great Bear) to symbolize strength.
Ursa Major Constellation
Alaska State Flower: Forget Me Nots
In 1926 Alaska was only a U.S. Territory, but Territorial Governor George Parks was working very hard to get the U.S. Government to promote Alaska to statehood. On a trip to Washington, D.C., Parks saw the flags of the 48 existing states flying outside of a government building and decided that Alaska needed a flag of its own. He went home and convinced the Alaska American Legion to hold a flag design contest. The contest was open to all Alaskan children in grades 7-12, and the rules called for a 8' x 11-inch paper and color or plain ink sample design. Benny Benson, a 13-year old 7th grader living in an orphanage in Seward, Alaska, was chosen as the winner of the contest. His design was of a blue flag with 8 stars depicting a dipper constellation, and the year 1867 written at the bottom. Benny was awarded a watch with the flag emblem on it and $1,000.00 towards an educational scholarship for his contribution to the state of Alaska. This event occurred only two years after Alaskans were awarded American citizenship and the right to vote, making the flag a great source of pride to Alaskans. Benny became a bit of a celebrity in Alaska and was labeled a hero for winning the contest. In May of 1927, Benny's flag design was officially adopted by the two houses of legislature in the territory of Alaska.