- Flag of Alabama
The flag of
Alabamawas adopted by Act 383 of the Alabama state legislature on February 16, 1895.
The cross of St. Andrew referenced in the law is a diagonal cross, known in
vexillologyas a saltire. Because the bars must be at least six inches (15.24 cm) wide, small representations of the Alabama flag do not meet the legal definition.
It is commonly believed that the
crimsonsaltire of the Flag of Alabama was designed to resemble the blue saltire of the Confederate Battle Flag. The Battle Flag was square-shaped, and Alabama's flag is sometimes shown as a square. The legislation that created the state flag did not specify if the flag was going to be square or rectangular.Cite web|url=http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_flag.html|title=State Flag of Alabama|accessdate=2007-11-17|year=2007|author=Alabama Department of Archives & History] The authors of a 1917 article in National Geographicexpressed their opinion that because the Alabama flag was based on the Battle Flag, it should be square. [*Lt. Commander Byron McCandless & Gilbert Grosvenor. "Flags of the World." " National Geographic Magazine." Vol 32. No. 4, pp. 281-420 (October 1917).] In 1987, the office of Alabama Attorney General Don Siegelmanissued 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.Cite web|url=http://www.ago.state.al.us/oldopinions/8700238.pdf|title=Opinion of Don Siegelman|accessdate=2007-11-17|publisher=Office of the Attorney General of the State of Alabama|year=1987|author=Don Siegelman|format=PDF]
However, the saltire design of the Alabama state flag also bears resemblance to several other flags. It is identical to the flag of Saint Patrick, incorporated into the
Union Flagof the United Kingdomto represent the union of the Kingdom of Great Britainwith the Kingdom of Ireland. This has led to other origins being put forth as possibilities.
Some hold that it owes its origin as a simplification of the
Cross of Burgundy Flagused by the Spanish in the New Spainand as the basis of military flags. One example that was used in the future Alabama was that of the Regimiento de Infanteria de Luisiana which took part in the Battle of Mobile as part of the Gulf Coast campaign of the American Revolution. [ [http://www.fotw.net/flags/es%5E1779.html Flags of the World "Louisiana Infantry 1779-1781 (Spain)"] ]
Another remote, but possible inspiration was the flag carried by Co. F 7th Alabama Cavalry. The regiment was the only Alabama regiment in
Rucker's Brigadecommanded by Col. Edmund Ruckerof Tennessee, later Alabama, who became a prominent Montgomery businessman after the war. The flag of the brigade used a white background with a red saltire and charged with 13 blue/green stars upon this saltire. This flag was given to Co. F 7th Alabama Cavalry by Rucker in order for them to act as his Color Guard, and is currently held by the Alabama Department of Archives and Historyas part of its Alabama Civil War Period Flag Collection. [ [http://www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/FLAGS/085.html Flag: Rucker's Brigade (Carried by Co. F, 7th Alabama Cavalry) Catalogue No. 86.1876.1] ] But, the flag carried by Co. F 7th Alabama was not an Alabama Flag, it was the flag made for Rucker's Brigade a month before the 7th joined his brigade; the 7th was color party only after September 24, 1864. A bunting flag that exists, in the white and red configuration with 13 blue stars, is not believed to be Alabama associated, but also tied to Rucker's Brigade.
On January 11, 1861, the Secession Convention passed a resolution designating an official flag. Designed by several women from Montgomery, the final touches were performed by Francis Corra of Montgomery.Cite web|url=http://www.confederateflags.org/states/FOTCalabama.htm|title=Flags Of The Confederacy - Flags of Alabama|accessdate=2007-11-17|publisher=Flags Of The Confederacy|year=2000|author=Robert B. Bradley |work=Flags Of The Confederacy] One side of the flag displayed the Goddess of Liberty holding an unsheathed sword in her right hand; in the left 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".Cite web|url=http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/sessflag.html|title=The Secession Convention Flag|accessdate=2007-11-17|year=2001|author=Alabama Department of Archives & History] The reverse side of the flag has 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.
Flags whose reverse differs from the obverse
* [http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_flag.html Alabama State Flag] at the Alabama Department of Archives & History
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