|Flags of Neighboring States|
In 1926, the American Legion held a territorial contest for school kids in Alaska, for designing the official Alaska flag. Out of the overwhelming work of numerous contestants across the State, the innovative concept of Benny was selected. Where others chose to represent the state with the help of polar bears and icebergs on the flag, Benny used his imagination in an unusual way. His Alaska flag had a blue background symbolizing the sky as well as the Forget-me-not flower. The 8 gold stars stood for the Big Dipper and the Pole star.
Being part of the Ursa Major, the Big Dipper meant intense strength and the Pole or the North star symbolized Alaska, the prospective state of the Union. Benny's Alaska flag was an example of sheer simplicity, steeped in rich symbolism. Thus Benny was rewarded with a gold watch and some prize money for his brilliant idea and his flag was adopted as the Alaska state flag. The moving description of Benny's flag had also been incorporated into the flag song, the official song of the State.