House Bill 193, which alters Alaska’s state song by adding a second verse suggesting there are “bars among our cultures,” while pledging allegiance to “Nature’s” flag sailed through the House Community & Regional Affairs Committee with little fanfare on March 3.
Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau is the bill’s sponsor.
She testified that the changes better honor “the first people in Alaska,” but noted that the bill does not require the singing of the additional verse.
The move to change the state’s song is the brainchild of students from Glacier Valley Elementary School, who approached Stori with the idea. She said the school has been singing both the official state song and the school’s addition for a long time. The school now wants their version to be the official song across the state.
Representative Steve Thompson, Sara Hannan, Matt Claman and Harriet Drummond all voted to pass the bill out of committee. It now heads to the House State Affairs Committee, where it does not yet have a hearing set.
ORIGINAL STATE SONG
Eight stars of gold on a field of blue –
Alaska’s flag. May it mean to you
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes, and the flow’rs nearby;
The gold of the early sourdough’s dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams;
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The “Bear” – the “Dipper” – and, shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
Over land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska’s flag – to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.
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 a last Frontier