The Alaska State Flag was designed by a 13-year-old orphan boy named John Bell (Benny) Benson, after winning a contest sponsored by the Alaska Department of the American Legion in 1927.
Since that year, the flag consists of eight five-pointed stars. Seven of them represent the constellation of the Great Bear, the most conspicuous in the northern hemisphere; while the remaining star symbolizes the North Star, used by navigators and explorers to orientate themselves in their trips.
The golden color of the stars is attributed to the gold of the province of Yukon. The dark blue background is the night sky in the Arctic Circle, the ocean, the mountain lakes, and the wild flowers.
Alaska is a territory of great economic value for the United States, because in 1890 gold was discovered in the Yukon region, as well as oil and gas in other places. In addition, the location of the peninsula grants international access rights to the Arctic and Pacific oceans through the Bering Strait, which borders Russia on the other side.