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State of Alabama
Symbols


State Flag | State Seal | State Nickname


State Flag: ( (enlarged view)

         A Crimson St. Andrew's cross on a white field, patterned after the Confederate Battle Flag, and adopted in 1895.

         The bars forming the cross must not be less than six inches broad and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side.




State Seal:

         The Great Seal of Alabama was approved by the Alabama Senate and House in 1939. The seal prominently displays the words "Alabama Great Seal" in the outer circle. The inner circle of the seal features an outline of the state of Alabama showing the state's major rivers, as well as the adjacent states.

         Interestingly, this version of the seal had actually been used prior to 1939 way back in 1819 when Alabama first became a state. Even before that, the same seal was used when Alabama was just a territory. The first seal of the state of Alabama lasted from 1819 for 50 years, until the legislature decided that a new seal was néeded during the Reconstruction period. The original seal was scrapped, and a new one featuring the U.S. seal and an eagle became the official seal, lasting until 1939.

         That's when the original seal regained the approval of the legislature, and the first "Alabama Great Seal" became law again.




State Nickname:

         Alabama has been known as the "Yellowhammer State" since the Civil War. The yellowhammer nickname was applied to the Confederate soldiers from Alabama when a company of young cavalry soldiers from Huntsville, under the command of Rev. D.C. Kelly, arrived at Hopkinsville, KY, where Gen. Forrest's troops were stationed. The officers and men of the Huntsville company wore fine, new uniforms, whereas the soldiers who had long been on the battlefields were dressed in faded, worn uniforms. On the sleeves, collars and coattails of the new calvary troop were bits of brilliantyellow cloth.

         As the company rode past Company A , Will Arnett cried out in greeting "Yellowhammer, Yellowhammer, flicker, flicker!" The greeting brought a roar of laughter from the men and from that moment the Huntsville soldiers were spoken of as the "yellowhammer company." The term quickly spread throughout the Confederate Army and all Alabama troops were referred to unofficially as the "Yellowhammers."


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