Welcome to the Land of Dixie! Or should I call it the Yellowhammer State? (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Heart of Dixie, The Yellowhammer State, Cotton State|
|Symbols of State||>|
|Motto||Audemus jura nostra defendere||1939||>|
|Wildflower||oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)||1999||>|
|Tree||southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)||1997||>|
|(former)||“southern pine” (Pinus)||1949|
|Fruit||blackberry (Rubus occidentalis)||2004||>|
|Tree Fruit||peach (Prunus persica)||2006||>|
|Nut||pecan (Carya illinoinensis)||1982||>|
|Legume||peanut (Arachis hypogaea)||2022||>|
|Bird||yellowhammer [common flicker] (Colaptes auratus)||1927||>|
|Game Bird||turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)||1980||>|
|Mammal||black bear (Ursus americanus)||2006||>|
|Marine Mammal||manatee (Trichechus manatus)||2009||>|
|Horse||Racking Horse (Equus caballus)||1975||>|
|Reptile||Alabama red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis)||1990||>|
|Amphibian||Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti)||2000||>|
|Fresh Water Fish||largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)||1975||>|
|Salt Water Fish||(fighting) tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)||1955||>|
|Insect||monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)||1989||>|
|Mascot and Butterfly||eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)||1989||>|
|Agricultural Insect||queen honey bee (Apis mellifera)||2015||>|
|Crustacean||brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus)||2015||>|
|Shell||Johnstone’s junonia (Scaphella junonia)||1990||>|
|Mineral||hematite (red iron ore)||1967||>|
|Gemstone||star blue quartz||1990||>|
|Fossil †||prehistoric whale (Basilosaurus cetoides)||1984||>|
|Soil||Bama Soil Series||1997||>|
|Wild and Scenic River||Little River||1969|
|Barbecue Championship||Demopolis Christmas on the River Cook-off||1991||>|
|Spirit||Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey||2004||>|
|Horse Shoe Tournament||Stockton Fall Horseshoe Tournament||1992||>|
|Horse Show||Alabama State Championship Horse Show||1988||>|
|Agricultural Museum||Dothan Landmarks Park||1992||>|
|Renaissance Faire||Florence Renaissance Faire||1988||>|
|Historic Theatre||Alabama Theatre for the Performing Arts||1993||>|
|Outdoor Drama||The Miracle Worker||1991||>|
|Outdoor Musical Drama||The Incident at Looney’s Tavern||1993||>|
|Quilt||Pine Burr Quilt||1997||>|
Alabama’s most prominent symbol is its flag, but whose history does it commemorate?
Some say the design recalls the Confederate battle flag, a symbol of the Civil War. Others say it recalls the flags carried by early Spanish explorers. Perhaps we can compromise and pretend it represents both.
Believe it or not, Alabama’s state bird is a symbol of the Civil War. It is also the only woodpecker adopted as a state bird.
The flicker is probably America’s most familiar woodpecker. In Alabama, it’s fondly called the “yellowhammer.”
According to legend, some Confederate soldiers wore uniforms with colors matching the yellowhammer’s. Today, one of Alabama’s most familiar nicknames is Yellowhammer State.
Another nickname that recalls Alabama’s plantation past is Cotton State. However, it is better known as The Heart of Dixie. This nickname is a reminder that Montgomery, Alabama was the first capital of the Confederate States.
Do any of Alabama’s symbols represent anything other than the Civil War? And what would Helen Keller have to say about the Civil War, China, or Israel?
If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.
You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)
After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.