The flag was created in 1927 by Benny Benson, a 13-year-old Alaska native. Up to that time, Alaskans had flown only the U.S. flag. Benson's design was chosen over 700 other submissions from school-children in grades 7–12. Most other entries showed the seal, the midnight sun, the northern lights, polar bears, and gold pans. To celebrate his achievement, Benson was awarded $1,000 and an engraved watch. The Alaska Legislature adopted the flag on May 2, 1927. It was kept as the state flag upon statehood in 1959.
Alaska's flag. May it mean to you The blue of the sea, the evening sky, The mountain lakes, and the flow'rs nearby; The gold of the early sourdough's dreams, The precious gold of the hills and streams; The brilliant stars in the northern sky, The "Bear" - the "Dipper" - and, shining high, The great North Star with its steady light, Over land and sea a beacon bright. Alaska's flag - to Alaskans dear,