State Flag of Alaska TB
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
Use TB2T1M1 to reference this item.
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Travel bugs seem to regularly disappear from urban caches and at caching events. Please drop this item in rural or Premium Member Only caches. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts—then the chain and tag won't tangle with other items. Otherwise, take this bug everywhere—no permission is needed to leave the US.
About This Item
The Flag of the State of Alaska consists of eight gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and the North Star, on a dark blue field. It was designed in 1927 by Benny Benson, a 13-year-old Alaska Native residing at the Jesse Lee Home for Children in Seward, for a contest to create a flag for the then-Alaska Territory. Up to that time, Alaskans had flown only the U.S. flag since the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867.
Benson's design was chosen over roughly 700 other submissions from schoolchildren territory-wide in grades 7–12. Most other entries featured variations on the territorial seal, the midnight sun, the northern lights, polar bears, and/or gold pans. To celebrate his achievement, Benson was awarded $1,000 and an engraved watch. Benny looked to the sky for the symbols he included in his design, and he submitted this description with it: “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear—symbolizing strength.” The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major which symbolizes a bear, an animal indigenous to Alaska.
As depicted on the flag, its stars can be used as a guide by the novice to locate Polaris and determine true north, which varies considerably from a compass bearing in Alaska. The Alaska Legislature adopted Benson's design as the official flag for the Territory of Alaska on May 2, 1927. The first flag made based on Benny's design was made of blue silk and appliquéd gold stars, and was inaugurally flown July 9, 1927. It was retained as the state flag upon statehood in 1959.
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