Alaska State Flower & Floral Emblem
Adoption of the Alaska State Flower & Floral Emblem
Alaska's official State flower & floral emblem was a popular representative of the Alaska Territory years before Alaska entered the Union.
The story starts almost 100 years ago at around the turn of the century and shortly after the population boom caused by the discovery of gold in Alaska and the Klondike gold rush.
In 1907, a group of men got together and formed a lodge (club or organization) limited to men who had arrived in Alaska before January 1, 1900. This organization was called the "Pioneers of Alaska." In 1908, the "Pioneers of Alaska" merged with two other lodges to form the "Grand Igloo." It was in the constitution of the Grand Igloo that the forget-me-not began its journey to become the official state flower and floral emblem of Alaska. A clause in the constitution declared,
As the population of Alaska continued to grow, women became involved with organizations such as the Grand Igloo by forming Auxiliaries. They too adopted the forget-me-not as their official emblem.
Territorial status loomed in Alaska's future and it occurred to the members of the Grand Igloo and the Women's Auxiliaries that the forget-me-not would make a most appropriate floral emblem for the new Alaska Territory.
In 1912, the United States Congress passed a second Organic Act authorizing Alaska to form a territorial government with limited powers. The Legislature of the Alaska Territory met for the first time in 1913.
Four years later the bill proposing that the forget-me-not be declared the official floral emblem of the Territory was introduced supported by the following poem written by Esther Birdsall Darling.
So in thinking for an emblem For this Empire of the North We will choose this azure flower That the golden days bring forth, For we want men to remember That Alaska came to stay Though she slept unknown for ages And awakened in a day. So although they say we’re living In the land that God forgot, We’ll recall Alaska to them With our blue Forget-me-not.
The Territorial Legislature approved the forget-me-not as the official floral emblem of the Alaska Territory and the Governor signed the legislation into law on April 28, 1917. The following was found written in the margin of the bill.
A little flower blossoms forth On every hill and dale, The emblem of the Pioneers Upon the rugged trail; The Pioneers have asked it And we could deny them not; So the emblem of Alaska Is the blue Forget-me-not.
Ten years later, in 1927, Benny Benson paid tribute to the forget-me not with his winning flag design. The blue field of Benny Benson's flag, adopted by the Alaska Legislature, represented the sky and the blue forget-me-not flower. He is quoted,
In 1959, when Alaska was granted entry to the Union, the forget-me-not was adopted as the official State flower and floral emblem of the 49th state.
The Alaska Statutes - 2004
The following information is excerpted from The Alaska Statutes - 2004, Title 44, Chapter 09, Section 44-09-050.
Title 44. STATE GOVERNMENT.
The wild native forget-me-not is the state flower and floral emblem.
Additional Photographs: Wildflowers and Scenery of the Canadian Rockies, Barbara J. Collins, Ph.D.
Plant Profile (Synonym: Myosotis asiatica): USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Plants Database.
State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.
Forget-me-not Seeds: Ferry Morse Forget-me-not seeds from LandscapeUSA.com.
Forget-me-not Posters and Prints: Browse forget-me-not posters and prints for purchase.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.
U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.
Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
Source: Alaska Legislature, (http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/), June 1, 2005
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