Is Alaska leaving the United States? Newsweek magazine tosses around the idea this week. It's not as bizarre as you might think. There is a growing independence party in Alaska; the state has lots of natural resources; and it's only been a U.S. state for 51 years. Heck it wasn't that long along that Alaska was part of Russia. Of course, de-statehood would be a boon to flag makers--we'd all have to go back to a 49 star flag (above).