The History of the Alabama State Flag

Alabama is known for having one of the simplest flags in the United States. As depicted in the adjacent photo, it consists of the St. Andrew’s cross against an all-white field. The St. Andrew’s cross is a crimson-colored cross. It’s essentially a red X that runs diagonally across the four corners of the Alabama state flag. With the St. Andrew’s cross, Alabama has a simple flag that’s easily distinguished from other state flags. To learn more about the history of the Alabama state flag, keep reading.

Origins of the Alabama State Flag

The origins of the Alabama state flag can be traced back to the 19th century. In 1861, the Alabama Secession Convention agreed to designate an official flag for the Southern State.  They selected a design created by a group of women living in Montogomery. The group’s design featured the Goddess of Liberty wielding a sword in one hand and a blue-colored flag in her other hand. Above the Goddess of Liberty was a banner reading “Alabama,” which was placed under the phrase “Independent Now and Forever.”

It’s important to note that the original Alabama state flag was two-sided. The back of the flag featured a rattlesnake in a coiled striking position. Along with the rattlesnake, the back of the Alabama state flag features the Latin phrase “Noil Me Tangere,” which means “Touch Me Not.”

How the Alabama State Flag Has Changed

Like with other states, the Alabama state flag has been revised since its origins. The current design no longer featured the Goddess of Liberty, nor does it feature a banner or other text. It’s also a single-sided design, whereas the original design was two-sided.

The current design of the Alabama state flag was adopted in 1895. During this year,  Representative John W. A. Sanford Jr passed a resolution calling for a new design for the Alabama state flag. The legislation stated that the Alabama state flag should consist of the crimson cross of St. Andrew against a while field. It also stated that the bars of the crimson cross should be no longer than 6 inches wide, and the bars must extend fully diagonally from all four corners.

You can easily spot the modern-day version of the Alabama state flag by looking for its crimson cross.  For over a century, the Alabama state flag has featured a simple design consisting of the crimson cross, also known as the St. Andrew’s cross, against a while field. Prior to this design, the Alabama state flag featured a two-sided design with a coiled rattlesnake on one side and a Latin phrase on the other side.

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