The Alabama state flag has undergone several changes since it was first adopted in 1861. The current flag was adopted on February 16, 1895, and features a red St. Andrew’s cross on a white background, with a blue field in the upper left corner that contains the state coat of arms.
The first Alabama state flag was adopted in 1861 when Alabama seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. The flag featured a crimson field with a white saltire (diagonal cross) that represented the southern cross of stars. In the center of the flag was the coat of arms of Alabama, which featured a shield with a map of the state, a cotton plant, and a steamboat. Above the shield was the motto “Here We Rest.”
After the end of the Civil War, Alabama was readmitted to the Union and adopted a new state flag in 1868. This flag featured a white field with the coat of arms of Alabama in the center. The coat of arms was surrounded by the words “The Great Seal of the State of Alabama” and the date “1868.”
In 1891, the Alabama legislature appointed a commission to design a new state flag. The commission recommended a design that featured a white field with the coat of arms of Alabama in the center, surrounded by a wreath of cotton and a red border with a yellow fringe. However, this design was not adopted by the legislature.
In 1895, a new state flag was adopted, featuring a red St. Andrew’s cross on a white field, with the state coat of arms in the center. The St. Andrew’s cross was a nod to Alabama’s Confederate heritage, as it was also used on the Confederate battle flag. The state coat of arms featured a shield with a map of Alabama, a bald eagle, and symbols of agriculture and industry. The words “Audemus jura nostra defendere,” which means “We dare defend our rights,” were also included on the coat of arms.
The design of the Alabama state flag has remained largely unchanged since 1895, with only minor modifications to the dimensions of the flag and the placement of the state coat of arms. Today, the flag remains a symbol of the state’s history, heritage, and identity.