Alabama State Flag: History, Facts, and Meaning

Do you know the history behind the origin of the Alabama State Flag? This article gives you its meaning and provides you with the historical facts, along with the flag's printable coloring pages.
Historyplex Staff
Did You Know ?
The saltire (St. Andrew's Cross) is also the national flag of Scotland. Hence, this flag seems like a twin of the Alabama flag.
Alabama is a state in the United States, located in its southeastern region. It joined the union as the 22nd state, gaining statehood on the 14th of December, 1819. It is nicknamed as "Heart of Dixie" and the "Yellowhammer State" after the state bird.
Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is the birthplace of the Confederate States of America, which is associated with the design of the Alabama state flag. The flag was adopted on February 16, 1865. It has an interesting meaning and history as well.
  • The Alabama Secession Convention, on January 11, 1861, passed a resolution designating its official flag. This flag looked very different from the current state flag, and was designed by the women from Montgomery. It was known as "Republic of Alabama".
  • The obverse side of the flag featured the "Goddess of Liberty" holding a sword in her right hand, while a small blue flag with one gold star was seen in her left. The text "Alabama" in capital letters has been written just above the gold star. In an arch above this figure were the words "Independent Now and Forever".
  • The reverse side of the flag displayed a cotton plant and a coiled rattlesnake, with the Latin text "Noli me tangere" (Touch Me Not).
  • This flag was removed in a month due to damage caused by severe weather, and was never flown again.
The Current Alabama State Flag
Alabama had left the Union in 1861, and used the Confederate flag, but when the state joined the Union in 1895 again, it needed to adopt a new flag for a new start. Even though it is simple, the Alabama state flag represents the freedom of the state.
  • A crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white is the official description of Alabama's state flag, reminiscent of the Confederate battle flag. The bars that form the cross should not be less than six inches broad, and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side.
  • The Alabama legislation in the Act 383 does not specify whether the flag should be square or rectangular, but they were very specific about the bars being at least six inches wide. Anything less than that doesn't fit in the legal definition. Some sources say that the flagpole must be at least two and a half times as long as the flag.
  • Alabama was a member of the Confederate States of America (south) during the country's Civil War. The Confederate battle flag was in turn inspired by the cross of St. Andrew―a diagonal X-shaped cross on which St. Andrew, a disciple of Jesus, is said to have been crucified. The cross actually represents the battle flag.
  • The colors on the Alabama flag stand for purity and courage.
Coloring Pages
Alabama flag
Alabama flag