Flag of Alabama

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The current Flag of the State of Alabama (the second in the state's history) was adopted by Act 383 of the Alabama state legislature on February 16, 1895:

The cross of St. Andrew referred to in the law is a diagonal cross, known in vexillology as a saltire. Because the bars must be at least six inches wide, small representations of the Alabama flag do not meet the legal definition.

Contents

History

1861 flag

Prior to 1861, Alabama did not have an official state flag. On January 11, 1861, the Alabama Secession Convention passed a resolution designating an official flag. Designed by several women from Montgomery, final touches were made by Francis Corra of that city.[1] One side of the flag displayed the "Goddess of Liberty" holding an unsheathed sword in her right hand; in her left she held a small blue flag with one gold star. Above the gold star appears the text "Alabama" in all capital letters. In an arch above this figure were the words "Independent Now and Forever".[2] The reverse side of the flag had a cotton plant with a coiled rattlesnake. The text "Noli Me Tangere", ("Touch Me Not" in Latin), was placed below the cotton plant.

This flag was sent to the Governor's Office on February 10, 1861. Due to damage from severe weather, the flag was never flown again.[clarification needed]

Current flag

It is commonly believed that the crimson saltire of the current Flag of Alabama was designed to resemble the blue saltire of the Confederate Battle Flag. Many battle flags were square and the flag of Alabama is sometimes also depicted as square. The legislation that created the state flag did not specify if the flag was to be square or rectangular, however.[3] The authors of a 1917 article in National Geographic expressed their opinion that because the Alabama flag was based on the Battle Flag, it should be square.[4] In 1987, the office of Alabama Attorney General Don Siegelman issued an opinion in which the Battle Flag derivation is repeated, but concluded that the proper shape is rectangular, as it had been depicted numerous times in official publications and reproductions,[5] despite this, the flag is still depicted as being square even in official publications by the U.S. Federal Government.[6]

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