Alaska State Flag (AK) The 49th state, admitted 1959
When the United State purchased the Alaskan region from Russia in 1867, most Americans thought it was a crazy idea. For many years after, Alaska AK fought to become a state, but Congress refused to admit this cold, desolate place. In 1926, Alaska members of the American Legion decided they needed more publicity for Alaska, so they held a contest in the grade schools for a design of a territorial flag. Benny Benson, an orphaned 13 year old, won the contest. When Alaska was finally adopted as a state in 1959, the flag design stayed. The only change was the blue hue of the background. Originally it matched the blue of forget-me-nots, the state flower; the revised color matches the blue on the American flag. The stars depict the Big Dipper constellation, symbolizing strength. The North Star was said to represent the future state of Alaska and its far northerly position.