fbpx
Call Us (800) 692-0663

History of the Flag of Alaska

Alaska has one of the most recognizable flags in the United States. As depicted in the photo above, it features eight gold stars on a dark blue background. The stars consist of the Big Dipper asterism as well as the North Star, Polaris, in the top-right corner.

The Modern-Day Alaska Flag

Alaska officially adopted its flag on May 2, 1927. Since then, it has remained unchanged. Other state flags have been revised to feature new designs, but Alaska’s flag still consists of the same Bid Dipper asterism and Polaris on a dark blue background.

A survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) found that Alaska had the fifth-best flag design out of a staggering 72 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. What’s the history behind the Alaska flag exactly?

Origins of the Flag of Alaska

Long before Alaska was a state, the territory’s American Legion branch held a contest to acquire a flag design. The contest was open to children aged 12 to 18.

After reviewing over 700 design entries, the American Legion selected a design entry from 14-year-old Alaska native Benny Benson. Records show that most other design entries were based on the territory’s official seal. Benson took a different approach, however. Rather than using the territory’s official seal, he looked to the sky for inspiration. Benson noticed the Big Dipper and North Star, which he used as the foundation for his design entry.

The Alaska Legislature adopted Benson’s design on May 2, 1927. Alaska, of course, didn’t become a state until several decades later in 1959. Nonetheless, the Alaska Legislature adopted Benson’s design as the territory’s official flag in 1927. And since then, Alaska has continued to recognize Benson’s design as its official flag.

The First Flag of Alaska

The first Alaska flag featuring Benson’s design was made of silk. The silk was dyed to achieve a dark blue color. The first Alaska flag also featured ornamental stars that were hand-sewn into the silk background.

The Alaska flag is no longer made of silk. It’s typically made of the same materials as other official state flags, such as cotton, nylon or polyester. Cotton flags are a popular choice because of their price. They are inexpensive and readily available. If you’re planning to fly it outdoors, though, you may want to choose a flag made of nylon or polyester. Nylon and polyester are synthetic materials, so they can withstand the harsh outdoors better than organic materials like cotton.

LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
Join thousands of others receiving our newsletter.
JOIN

Join our newsletter for patriotic news and limited time specials.
JOIN
close-link

Join the Patriot Club
Get Discounts, Prizes and More!
YES, I WANT IN!
close-link
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
Join thousands of others receiving our newsletter.
JOIN