A chorus of voices sang the second verse of the Alaska Flag Song on the steps of the Capitol building this afternoon (Friday).
Senate Bill 94 would officially add it to the state song. But like a number of similar bills introduced since 1987, it is currently languishing in the Legislature. Today’s singing rally was to urge lawmakers to move the bill to a vote in the House of Representatives.
The second verse was written by Juneau resident and Alaska Poet Laureate Carol Beery Davis. It pays tribute to Benny Benson – an Aleut boy who designed the state flag, with its eight stars on a background of blue. It also expresses appreciation for Alaska Native cultures.
Juneau Representative Cathy Munoz grew up taking music lessons from Beery Davis, who passed away in 1990. At today’s rally Munoz said the state flag had personal meaning to Beery Davis.
“Her husband Trevor was on the committee that actually selected the winning design. And at one point, he said, ‘During our deliberations we almost voted to select a bear on an ice cake,'” Munoz said with a laugh. “So they really vociferously worked to get the Alaska Flag, Benny Benson’s winning design, selected.”
SB 94 is sponsored by Anchorage Senator Bettye Davis. It passed the Senate last year on an 18-1 vote.
The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Carl Gatto requested to have it in his committee, but has not scheduled it for a hearing.
The second verse of the “Alaska Flag Song” as proposed in SB 94:
A native lad chose our dipper’s stars/for Alaska’s flag that there be no bars/among our cultures. Be it known/through years our natives’ past has grown/to share our treasures, hand in hand,/to keep Alaska our Great Land./We love the northern midnight sky,/our mountains, lakes and the streams nearby;/Our Great North Star with its steady light/will guide our cultures clear and bright/with Nature’s flag to Alaskans dear-/The simple flag of the last Frontier.
- The state is granting nearly $300,000 to improve water quality in some of Alaska's most damaged watersheds, including Juneau's orange-tinted Duck Creek.
- More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.
- "You know, we're not talking about some smoky, old wood stove here. We’re talking about high-tech equipment," said Daniel Parrent, a program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
- "Did you think that ganging together seven different taxes would make it more likely or less likely that any would pass?” asked Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler.