History of the Alabama Flag
The Alabama State Flag features a white field with a red St. Andrew cross. It is a diagonal cross which is also referred to as a Saltire. The cross of the flag resembles the cross on the Florida State Flag as Alabama was once part of West Florida as well as Spanish Florida. The red and white colors of the flag represent the purity and courage and the cross represents the sacrifice made and is a reminder of Alabama's past when it was a confederate state. When the current Alabama State Flag was introduced, John W.A Sanford Jr. stated that "the flag of Alabama shall be a crimson cross of St. Andrews on a field of white. The bars forming the cross shall not be less than six inches broad and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side."
As well as resembling the Florida State Flag, the cross was also inspired from the Confederate battle flag (the official flag of the Confederate States of America). The first Alabama State Flag was adopted on January 11th, 1861 after Alabama withdrew from the Union of the United States of America, and it was referred to as the "Secession Convention Flag." The flag was only used for one month (until February 10th, 1861) before it was destroyed during a storm. The current Alabama State Flag was adopted on February 16th, 1895.
Alabama is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States of America. It shares borders with Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi. The capital of Alabama is called Montgomery. The most populated city in Alabama is called Birmingham (which is also home to the world's largest cast iron statue – "The Vulcan") The oldest city is called Mobile. Alabama is referred to as "The Yellowhammer State" after the state bird, "Heart of Dixie" which was a nickname invented in the 1940s-1950s due to its central location in a Southern region and "The Cotton State" as the production of cotton plays an important role in Alabama's history. The state of Alabama was named after the Alabama river which was named after an American tribe called Alabama. The territory was created by the United States Congress on March 3rd, 1817 and it was admitted as a 22nd State on December 14th, 1819.
The first inhabitants of Alabama were various tribes which included Cherokee, Alabama, Creek, Chicksaw, Choctaw, and Koasati. The first Europeans to reach Alabama were in the 16th century when the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto passed in 1540. The first Europeans to establish a settlement were the French in the city of Mobile in 1702. The area was claimed by the French and became part of La Louisiane from 1702-1763. As a result of France's defeat during the seven year war with Britain, Alabama became part of West Florida from 1763-1783 until Spain gained control following the American Revolutionary War. Spain remained in control of the area until the Spanish Garrison at Mobile surrendered to the United States of America's forces.