Today’s show includes part of an interview with Benson conducted by the old Anchorage Borough School District.
Benson designed Alaska’s Territorial Flag
which became the state flag
Don’t you just love the story of Benny Benson and his Alaska flag design?
There’s Benny, growing up in an orphanage and he ends up designing a flag that is generally accepted by flag experts to be a nearly perfect design. Simple, colorful, easily distinguished from others. Plus, there’s a good story about the North Star and of course Benny’s great story related to the flag itself.
Here’s an interesting twist to the Benny Benson Flag Story. In this interview conducted by the Anchorage Borough School District, Benson says his original flag design included the date 1867 under the Big Dipper. 1867 is the year of the Alaska Purchase from Russia. Benson says they made that small change when they finalized the design for the state flag…
That’s Benny Benson speaking in a video that’s available at the Alaska State Museum. It was originally recorded by the Anchorage Borough School District. The borough merged into the Municipality of Anchorage back in 1975.
Since Benson died in 1972, this video is more than 35 years old. Benson was born in 1913 and was 13 years old when he won the state flag contest.
He was living at the Jesse Lee Children’s Home in Seward at the time of the contest.
From the North American Vexillological Association — The people who specialize in flag design.
Five Basic Tips for Good Flag Designs — Benny’s flag had them all!
1. Keep It Simple
The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
2. Use Meaningful Symbolism
The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors
Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set…
4. No Lettering or Seals
Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal…
5. Be Distinctive or Be Related
Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections…
Interesting material in “The Face Behind the Name” from University of Alaska Journal.