Coat of arms of Alabama
|Coat of Arms of the State of Alabama|
The coat of arms is often used in the form of a seal
Historical coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
|Armiger||State of Alabama|
|Adopted||March 14, 1939|
|Crest||A representation of the French colonial ship Badine facing to the sinister proper|
|Torse||Argent and Gules|
|Escutcheon||Three yellow Fleur-de-lis on a blue background, representing France in the upper left quarter, the royal standard of Castile and León in the upper right quarter, representing Spain, ten stars on a white-fimbriated blue saltire on a red background representing the Confederacy at lower right, the Union Jack representing the United Kingdom at lower left, and in the center an inescutcheon of thirteen red and white vertical stripes below a blue chief, representing the Union.|
|Supporters||Two American eagles proper|
|Motto||Audemus jura nostra defendere
(Latin:"We dare defend our rights")
The coat of arms of Alabama depicts a shield upon which is carried the symbols of the five nations which have at various times held sovereignty over a part or the whole of what is now Alabama. These are the coat of arms of France, the ancient coat of arms of Crown of Castile for Spain (Castile quartering León), the Union Flag of the United Kingdom (which was not adopted until after Alabama's independence) and the battle flag of the Confederate States of America. On an escutcheon of pretence is borne the shield of the United States. The crest of the coat represents a ship (the "Badine") which brought the French colonists who established the first permanent European settlements in the state. Below is the state motto: Audemus jura nostra defendere, meaning "We dare defend our rights."
The bill to adopt a state coat of arms was introduced in the Alabama Legislature of 1939 by James Simpson, Jefferson County, and was passed without a dissenting vote by both houses.
The original design of the Alabamian coat of arms was made in 1923 by B.J. Tieman, New York, an authority on heraldry, at the request of Marie Bankhead Owen, Director of the Department of Archives and History. A few years later Naomi Rabb Winston, Washington, DC, painted the completed design in oil. Mrs. Owen selected the motto which was put into Latin by Professor W.B. Saffold, of the University of Alabama. It was through the influence of Juliet Perry Dixon, wife of Governor Dixon, that official action was taken by the Legislature.
The Union Flag depicted on the coat of arms, which represents the period of British rule in Alabama prior to the 1783 Treaty of Paris, is not actually the flag used at that time. It dates to the 1801 formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, whereas the preceding Kingdom of Great Britain held sovereignty over Alabama prior to 1783.
Besides being used by itself, the coat of arms is used on many governmental seals of the state, as well as the flag of the governor of Alabama.
Seal of the Governor of Alabama
Seal of the Governor-Elect of Alabama
Seal of the Alabama Department of Public Health
Seal of the Alabama Department of Public Safety