Review finds Alaska state flag designer was 14, not 13

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska has issued a corrected birth certificate for the teenage designer of the Alaska flag, after researchers who were looking into his heritage found records indicating he was born more than a year earlier than previously believed.

The change means John Ben Benson Jr. — believed to be the only Indigenous person to design a state flag — did so when he was 14, not 13.

Superior Court Judge Adolf Zeman last week ordered the state to issue a birth certificate for Benson with the birth date of Sept. 12, 1912, and for his mother’s maiden name to be corrected.


The order followed a petition by researcher Michael iqyax̂ Livingston, who was part of the team studying Benson’s heritage that uncovered church and other records supporting the changes.

Benson is known as Benny Benson, and in 1927, he won a territory-wide contest with his flag design, which featured the Big Dipper and the North Star on a simple field of blue. It became the state flag after Alaska was admitted to the union in 1959.

Benson died in 1972.

https://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Investigation-finds-that-Alaska-flag-designer-was-16994933.php

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