What are the Alaska State Symbols?

Author: Jason Coles

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State symbols have been a mainstay of U.S. culture since the very beginning. Official symbols are used to represent the cultural heritage and natural history of each state in the most fun way possible.

Alaska is the same as most other states and has an abundance of symbols that are indicative to the state’s historical roots and geological history. There are also recognizable icons and emblems for each state, such as state seals and flags, nicknames and mottos, and much more which we have included in our Alaska state symbol list.

Alaska state symbols

State of Alaska Symbols List

There are lots of state of Alaska symbols that in turn create a whole host of interesting facts, both from the past and present. We have shortlisted the top 6 most significant Alaska state symbols below and further down the page you will find a comprehensive table with each Alaska symbol and the date on which they were officially enacted. You can sort the list by date in order to show the most recently enacted symbols or the oldest ones – it is a great resource.

Alaska State Animals

The Moose (Alces alces) officially became the state mammal of Alaska in 1998, they are also commonly referred to as Elk. Moose are the largest members of the historical deer family, and the Alaskan moose is the largest of them all, weighing between approximately 1,000 and 1,600 pounds! Typically in the wild mooses will inhabit the forests of North America, Europe, and Russia.

Alaska state animals

The second animal to represent the state is the Bowhead whale, which is an Alaska marine mammal. This beautiful whale has been the state marine mammal for Alaska since 1983. They were almost hunted to complete extinction, however, their numbers are fortunately making a slow and positive recovery after the protection by the International Whaling Commission intervened in 1937.

Alaska State Mineral

Gold was officially adopted as the Alaska state mineral in 1968 due to Alaska’s significant role in the famous “Golden Rush”, bringing thousands upon thousands of travelers to Alaska in the 1800s and early 1900s in search of gold and fortune.

Alaska state mineral

Alaska State Bird and Flower

The willow ptarmigan became the official state bird of Alaska in 1955. In the wild, there are three different types of ptarmigan found across Alaska, the willow and the rock ptarmigan, which can also be seen residing in Scandinavia and Russia.

Alaska state bird and flower

The incredibly unique and native alpine “forget-me-not” has been the state flower for Alaska since 1917. These beautiful flowers belong to one of the true blue flower families, displaying truly mesmerizing coloration. The forget-me-not flower (Myosotis alpestris) grows throughout the state of Alaska, typically in rocky mountainous places.

Alaska State Seal

The Alaska state seal was officially designed in 1910, which was before Alaska officially became a state and when it was still a U.S. territory. The seal itself features many different things that all represent the state in one way or another.

Alaska state seal

Alaska State Insect

Four-spot skimmer dragonflies may be a tongue-twister, but they are a truly special insect, representing Alaska since 1995. Their adoption as the official state insect was derived from Alaskan schoolchildren voting upon which out of the four chosen insects should be the one to symbolize the state. The other contestants were the slender mosquito, mourning cloak butterfly, and the bumblebee.

Alaska state insect

Alaska State Tree

The Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) became Alaska’s official state tree in 1962. These trees are named for the Sitka sound in Alaska, and the spruce is the tallest conifer (a group of trees and shrubs which grow in cold climates) in the world! Their large growth rate is down to the moist ocean air and summer fog that often resides in Alaska’s cold terrain.

Alaska state tree

Alaska State Dog

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see the Alaska state dog as the Alaskan Malamute, not only because of the name but because of the type of dog. Malamutes are known for their impressive strength and endurance, which is required when they carry heavy loads and people on sleds. Their thick, beautiful coat and friendly faces are incredibly adorable. The Alaska state dog symbol was adopted in 2010, making it one of the newest state symbols to represent the state.

All Alaska State Symbols (Table)

Now that we have taken a look at some of the more popular and notable state symbols that are associated with the great state of Alaska, it makes sense to showcase all the Alaska state symbols that are best used to represent the state’s history and present achievements and moments. Here is the complete list of symbols:

Type Of SymbolState SymbolYear
Alaska State BirdWillow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus alascensis Swarth)1955
Alaska State Bolt-Action RiflePre-1964 Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle (multiple caliber)2014
Alaska State DogAlaskan Malamute2010
Alaska State FishKing Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)1962
Alaska State FlagState and Civil Flag1927
Alaska State FlowerWild native Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis alpestris)1917
Alaska State Floral emblemWild native Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis alpestris)1917
Alaska State FossilWoolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)1986
Alaska State GemJade1968
Alaska State Great SealAlaska Great State Seal1912
Alaska State HostessMiss Alaska1970
Alaska State InsectFour Spot Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata) [ More ]1995
Alaska State LanguageEnglish1998
Alaska State Land MammalMoose (Alces alces)1998
Alaska State Marine MammalBowhead Whaleadobe document (Balaena mysticetus)1983
Alaska State MineralGold1968
Alaska State SportDog mushing1972
Alaska State Song"Alaska's Flag," words by Marie Drake, music by Elinor Dusenbury1955
Alaska State TreeSitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)1962
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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S., Jason has written over 1,200 business plans over the past 16+ years for start-ups looking to establish and expand their footprint in the United States.