Alaska adopted the flag for official state use in 1959. The blue field represents the sky, the sea, and mountain lakes, as well as Alaska’s wildflowers. Emblazoned on the flag are eight gold stars: seven from the constellation Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper. The eighth being the North Star, representing the northern most state. Alaska’s flag was designed in 1926 by a 13-year-old Native American boy, Bennie Benson, from the village of Chignik. Bennie received a 1,000-dollar scholarship and a watch for his winning entry in the flag design contest.