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Alaska’s Flag and its Story


The first flags in what is now the American
state of Alaska were those of the European colonial empires of the Spanish and Russians
that explored, settled, and traded there. Spain sent several expeditions to what is
now Alaska in the late 1700s in order to assert its claim on the Pacific Northwest. In 1789,
a Spanish settlement and fort were built at Nootka Sound. Russian colonization led to
the formation of Russian America. The flag of the Russian Empire and that of the Russian
American Company flew on Russian ships and at Russian settlements and trading posts in
what is now Alaska during that time. In 1867, the United States purchased the land from
Russia and the American Territory of Alaska was organized in 1912. In 1959, Alaska was
admitted as the 49th state. That same year, a 49th star was added to the national flag. Alaska’s state flag was first adopted in
1927 as the territorial flag. It was designed by Benny Benson, a 13 year old seventh grader
from an orphanage in Seward, Alaska. Benson’s flag was chosen after a contest was held for
Alaskan children in grades seven through twelve to create a flag for the territory. The flag
was chosen out of over 700 submissions, many of which included the midnight sun, the northern
lights, polar bears, or gold pans. The winning flag, which is the current state flag, consists
of a dark blue field with eight gold stars in the shape of the “big dipper” constellation.
The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, the state flower. The North
Star, the Polaris, represents what would become the future state of Alaska, the northern most
state in the Union. The constellation is associated with Ursa major or the Great Bear, symbolizing
strength. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit
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page for updates there. You can check out another video on the state flag of Hawaii
right here. Thanks for watching.

Stephen Childs

6 Comments

  1. at the land of Doofania, Doofenshmirtz says Norm the anthem please then Norm plays the music and Doofenshmirtz sings the Doofania anthem it is the bay on coast of tri state area floats a country for him and him. it is new and bright and founded on spite and everything he dreamt it could be and hail for Doofania but it stops. Doofenshmirtz asks does it feels like it stopped too fast and he will try to fix it and there is a bright shiny place with the flag that bears his face and floats on inner tube far away from city life his stupid brother and exwife and gets an evil attitude and hail doofania but it stopped again and Doofenshmirtz said to Norm you know the stopping is still bothering me

  2. The Alaskan flag holds true to many flag design conventions. It's very simple, and recognizable; yet meaningful.

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