Have you encountered the official Alabama state flag? Like all states, Alabama has its own flag. It features a simple design consisting of a crimson-colored cross. You can find the Alabama state flag displayed in front of countless homes and businesses throughout the Southern state. Even if you’ve seen it, though, there are probably some things you don’t know about the Alabama state flag. This post explores five fun facts about the Alabama state flag, some of which may surprise you.
#1) Originated in the Late 19th Century
The origins of the current Alabama state flag can be traced back to the late 19th century. In 1895, lawmakers authorized the first official flag for the state. The legislation was spearheaded by Representative John W. A. Sanford Jr. who declared that the Alabama state flag should feature the crimson cross of St. Andrew against a white field.
#2) The Cross Is Known as a Saltire
The crimson cross depicted in the Alabama state flag is known as a saltire. Saltires are a group of heraldic symbols. In the Alabama state flag, there’s a single cross stretching from each of the four corners while intersecting in the middle. It’s technically the St. Andrew cross, but it’s considered a saltire in vexillology.
#3) Previously Featured a Double-Sided Design
While the current design originated in the late 19th century, Alabama had an official flag for several decades prior to this time. The first flag for the Southern state was adopted in 1861. Unlike the current design, though, it didn’t feature the crimson cross of St. Andrew. Instead, it features a two-sided design. On one side, the flag featured the Goddess of Liberty holding a sword. On the other side, it features a coiled rattlesnake.
#4) Used as the Basis for the Governor’s Flag
The Alabama state flag was used as the basis for the Alabama Governor’s flag. Both flags feature the crimson cross of St. Andrew, and they both depict this cross against a while field. On the Alabama Governor’s flag, though, the coat of arms is displayed at the top and the military crest is displayed at the bottom.
#5) No Shape Originally Declared
When lawmakers first began to recognize the Alabama state flag, they didn’t specify a shape for it. As a result, some Alabama flags were rectangular, whereas others were square. It wasn’t until 1987 when the Office of the Alabama Attorney General declared that the Alabama state flag should feature a rectangular shape.