USA Official State Song of Alaska

Alaska's Department of Education staff member Marie Drake repeated Benny Benson's explanation of his design in a poem she wrote in 1935. Marie Drake became Territorial Assistant Commissioner of Education in 1934. She edited and wrote most of the material for the School Bulletin circulating throughout the territorial school system. The poem first appeared on the title of School Bulletin in October 1935.

Elinor Dusenbury soon composed a song about the poem and the flag. The wife of the commander of the Chilkoot Barracks in Haines from 1933 to 1936 had fallen in love with Alaska, but she left when her husband was transferred. She said, "I wrote the music to Alaska for Marie's beautiful poetry of pure, undiluted homesickness! I've had more tears on the boat than ever before or after, I had a book about Alaska with the image of the flag and Marie's poem. "In the summer of 1938, Dusenbury visited Juneau and played the song for Marie on the piano at the Baranof Hotel. The happiness came into the eyes of the poet.

The song was gradually played unofficially and grew steadily in popularity over the next two decades. To the surprise and joy of both women, the Territorial Legislation of 1955 adopted "Alaska's Flag". It became the official state song when the territory of Alaska entered the Union in 1959 as the 49th state

Alaska's Flag

Written by Marie Drake
Composed by Elinor Dusenbury
Eight stars of gold on a field of blue -
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,
The simple flag of a last frontier.