Key Rings Representing Alaska
Internet souvenir shop is now marketing a key chain for the State of Alaska; this dual-sided key ring features the Great Seal of the State and the State Flag. The Seal is not an igloo, which is what most people think of when they think of the State that lies at the far Northwest corner of the United States with one-third of its lying within the Arctic circle. To the west lies Canada and to the east is the Continent of Asia; separated by the Bering Strait, named after Vitas Jonassen Bering who first discovered Alaska on a voyage from Siberia in 1741. The State became property of the U.S. in 1867 when Secretary of State purchased the Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million (two cents per acre). Americans at this time referred to Alaska as “Seward’s Folly.”
The State of Alaska lies just outside of what is known as the Continental United States and didn’t officially become our 49th State until January 1959. Americans celebrated by having baked Alaska. The State also gets its name from Indian groups, such as the Aleut and Eskimo. Alaska is known as America’s Last Frontier (likely because it was one of the last States to enter the Union marking the end of U.S. expansion) and it is also known for being the home of the Trans-Alaskan Oil Pipeline and accounts for 25% of oil production in the United States.
The Great Seal and State Flag of Alaska Keychain
On one side of the key chain of the State of Alaska we have the official Seal of the State. It represents the 49th State’s Economic assets and natural resources. The inner circle depicts the Northern Lights radiating over tops of the majestic mountains. Other features include: ships navigating the waters, rail/industry transportation, agriculture, and timber production.
Official State Sport is Dog-mashing. Reminds you of White Fang? The State motto is “North to the Future.” Can’t get much further north than Alaska; except being the North Pole. Official gemstone is Jade. Gold is the State mineral after discovery of gold in the last quarter of the 19th Century.
The other side of the key ring for the State of Alaska features the State Flag, which was adopted in 1959 and designed by 13 year old Bennie Benson back in 1926. This young lad received a $1000 scholarship and a watch for his winning entry in the design contest for the Flag. That was likely a full scholarship in those days.
The Flag features a blue background; representing the sky, sea, Alaskan wildflowers, and mountain lakes and the Flag has eight gold stars emblazoned into it. Seven of these stars represent Ursa Major; aka the Big Dipper. The eighth star represents the North Star; symbolizing Alaska as the northernmost State in the Union.