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The Alabama State Flag

Republic of Alabama Flag
Republic of Alabama Flag
The Goddess of Liberty is depicted holding an unsheathed sword in her right hand and a flag with one star in her left hand. The words "Independent Now and Forever" are arched above her head.
First National Flag - Stars and Bars
First National Flag: Stars & Bars 1861
Republic of Alabama Flag
Republic of Alabama Flag
On the other side of the flag is a cotton plant with a coiled rattlesnake. Beneath the cotton plant are the Latin words Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not).
Second National Flag - Stainless Banner
Second National Flag: Stainless Banner 1863

Though Alabama entered the Union in 1819, it wasn't until the state seceded from the Union in 1861 that Alabamans adopted a flag of their own. At the Secession Convention of January 11, 1861, distressed Alabama citizens decided to withdraw from the Union of the United States. At the same time, they adopted their own flag. Designed by a group of Montgomery women, the "Secession Convention Flag" became Alabama's first official flag. Because Alabama had left the union, the flag was often referred to as the "Republic of Alabama flag."

The Republic of Alabama flag did not fly long. On February 10, 1861, one month after it was adopted, the flag was damaged in a severe storm and was moved to the Governor's office, never to fly over Alabama again.

Without a flag of their own, Alabamans rallied under the flags of the Confederate States of America. From March 4, 1861 until April, 1865 one of two Confederate National Flags waved over Alabama soil.

After the war, the flag of the United States was raised over the state. It flew until 1891 when Alabama finally decided on a design for a unique state flag.

Alabama state flag

Four years later, on February 16, 1895, 76 years after being admitted to the Union, the Alabama Legislature authorized the "crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white" as its official flag in the Acts of Alabama. Reminiscent of the Confederate battle flag, it was designated that the crimson bars were not to be less than six inches broad and were to extend diagonally across the flag. Because Act 383 did not specify a particular format, the flag is sometimes depicted as a square and at other times depicted as a rectangle.

For years the crimson cross has flown proudly over the state of Alabama.

Alabama Flag Law

The following information was excerpted from The Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 1, Chapter 2 & 2A.

Source: The Alabama Legislture, Alabama Legislative Information System Online, June 30, 2007.
Source: Alabama Department of Archives & History, State Flag of Alabama, , June 30, 2007.
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971).
Source: Flags of the Fifty States and Their Incredible Histories: The Complete Guide to America's Most Powerful Symbols by Randy Howe. The Lyons Press; First edition edition (November 1, 2002).

Additional Information

State Flag of Alabama: from the Alabama Department of Archives & History..

Proper shape of Alabama State flag: 1987 opinion of the Alabama Attorney General concerning "the proper shape of the Alabama State flag and the proper intersection of arms of the cross of St. Andrew on the flag."Acrobat button

Alabama (U.S.): FOTW "Flags of the World" Web Site.

State Flags: Complete list of state flags with links to large pictures and coloring print-outs.

Flag Terminology: The parts of a flag and terms associated with its design.

Visit Our Flag Shop: Purchase all kinds of flags and banners, lapel pins, 50 state flag sets, decals, patches, college banners at the Flag Shop.

Flags of the Fifty States and their Incredible Histories: A complete guide to America's most powerful symbols by Randy Howe.

How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States: This book, by Rita D. Haban, is geared toward younger readers.



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