The flag of Alabama features a simple design of St. Andrew’s Cross—or a saltire—a diagonal cross—as it is known. The design of the flag is believed to be inspired by the saltire that was found on the Confederate Battle Flag. It is also thought by some that the flag was inspired by one that was carried by the 7th Alabama Cavalry. Historian John Coski says that the flag was adopted following Jim Crow laws and segregation, as several states incorporated the Confederate battle flag into their own state flags during this time.
There are just two colors used in the flag of Alabama. The flag features a white field with a red Cross of St. Andrew placed diagonally from corner to corner.
It was in 1861 when Alabama had its first official flag. This flag was designed by a group of women from Montgomery. The flag featured the Goddess of Liberty on one side, with a cotton plant and rattlesnake on the reverse side. The flag was not flown for long, as it was damaged and was not flown again.
The current flag was adopted in 1895. Representative John Sanford, Jr., outlined the design of the flag and specifications, including the fact that the bars of the cross should not be less than six inches wide. Sanford’s father served during the Civil War, and Sanford based his design around the battle flag of his father’s regiment. The flag was adopted on February 16, 1895 and has flown over the state ever since.
Because of the specifications of the size of the cross, smaller flags are not considered to be legal.
The Alabama Flag of the Governor has a similar design. The only difference are the addition of the state coat of arms and the state military crest.