Sheet music

USA ALASKA : Alaska State Song
State Song of Alaska
Alaska's Flag

  • Author: Marie Drake (1888-1963)
  • Composer: Elinor Dusenbury (1889-1980)
  • Adopted: February 23 1955
  • National Day: January 03 1959 - Statehood (49th State)
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  • Further details: The words to the state song, 'Alaska's Flag,' were written by MARIE DRAKE (1888-1963), a longtime employee of the Alaska Department of Education, and first appeared as a poem in 1935. The poem was set to music composed by ELINOR DUSENBURY (1889-1980), whose husband was commander of Chilkoot Barracks at Haines from 1933 to 1936. The Territorial Legislature adopted 'Alaska's Flag' as Alaska's official song in 1955.

    Marie Drake, author of the words to 'Alaska's Flag,' the state song, was born February 11 1888. In 1907, she married James Drake in Van Wert, Ohio, where she was engaged in social work with the YWCA and the Red Cross. They came to Alaska when her husband was assigned to work with the Bureau of Public Roads. In 1917, Lester Henderson was appointed first commissioner of education, and he hired Marie Drake as his secretary. She remained with the Department of Education for 28 years, retiring July 1 1945. Marie Drake assumed the post of assistant commissioner of education in 1934. She edited and wrote most of the material for the department's 'School Bulletin' that was circulated throughout the territorial school system. The poem that later provided the words for the official state song first appeared on the cover of the October 1935 'School Bulletin'. In recognition of her devotion to the young people of Alaska, Marie Drake received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Alaska in 1958. She died March 5 1963.