In 1927, the competition to design a flag for Alaska was won by 13-year-old Benny Benson who got his inspiration from Alaska’s northerly position. The flag shows the large North Star with the Big Dipper below it. The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major, which symbolizes a bear, an animal indigenous to Alaska.
When Alaska was given statehood in 1959 the flag remained the same. The stars are the yellow color of natural gold and the field is the same blue as appears on the Stars and Stripes. The width of the flag to the length is in the proportion of 125:177. The diameter of the North Star is one-tenth of the width and the stars of the Great Bear are three-fifths the diameter of the North Star.