Alabama Symbols, Emblems, and Honors
The Alabama State Legislature names the official emblems and symbols of the state. It also designates certain events as official state events and sometimes appoints people to honorary state offices. You can find out more about Alabama’s official emblems, symbols, and honors here.
Click on the links below for more information.
State Amphibian ~ Red Hills Salamander The Red Hill Salamander is under federal protection, because it is near extinction.
State Bible The official State Bible is used to inaugurate Alabama governors.
BIRDS ~ Alabama has two official birds:
State Bird ~ Yellowhammer The Yellowhammer’s favorite food is poison ivy berries.
State Game Bird ~ Wild Turkey The wild turkey is one of the most common game birds in the United States.
Coat of Arms of Alabama The state coat of arms has a French sailing ship at the top. Can you guess why?
State Creed ~ Alabama’s Creed In 1953 the state adopted Alabama’s Creed.
FISH ~ Alabama has two official fish:
State Fresh Water Fish ~ Largemouth Bass When the legislature designated the Largemouth Bass as the official state freshwater fish, they incorrectly identified it.
State Saltwater Fish ~ (Fighting) Tarpon The largest tarpon ever caught in Alabama weighed 203 lbs.
FLOWERS ~ Alabama has two official flowers:
State Flower ~ Camellia Greenville, Alabama is known as the Camellia City.
State Wildflower ~ Oak-leaf Hydrangea The oak-leaf hydrangea is a native shrub that grows in all parts of Alabama.
Folk Dance ~ Square Dance It is a traditional dance that was mentioned in historical records as early as 1651.
Fossil ~ Basilosaurus cetoides The basilosaurus is an extinct ancestor of today’s whales.
Mammal ~ The Black Bear is classified as carnivore even though its omnivorous diet consists mainly of plant material.
Horse ~ Racking Horse The racking horse is one of the most comfortable horses to ride.
INSECTS ~ Alabama has an official insect, which is a butterfly, and an official mascot and butterfly:
Insect ~ Monarch Butterfly You can see Monarch butterflies throughout Alabama.
Mascot and Butterfly ~ Eastern Tiger Swallowtail The state mascot and butterfly became a symbol the same year as the state insect.
State Motto ~ We Dare Maintain Our Rights Audemus jura nostra defendere is Alabama’s motto.
Nut ~ Pecan Pecans are good sources of vitamin B-6.
Fruit ~ Blackberry Blackberries grow all over the state.
State Reptile ~ Alabama Red-bellied Turtle Red-bellied turtles may live as long as fifty years.
ROCKS Alabama has an official rock, mineral and gemstone:
Gemstone ~ Star Blue Quartz Alabama State Senator Don Hale, from Cullman County, proposed the Blue Star Quartz as the state gemstone.
Mineral ~ Hematite (Red Iron Ore) Hematite, a form of iron, is also known as "red iron ore".
Rock ~ Marble Since 1900 approximately 30 million tons of marble have been quarried in Sylacauga.
Great Seal The state seal was designed by Alabama’s first governor.
Shell ~ Scaphella Junonia Johnstoneae Deep sea mollusks live in this shell.
Soil ~ Bama Soil Series The Bama Soil Series occurs throughout the state of Alabama.
State Song ~ Alabama The State song was a poem before being transformed into the state song.
Tree ~ Southern Longleaf Pine The Longleaf pine has the largest pinecone of any pine tree grown in the Eastern U.S.
Barbeque Championship ~ Demopolis Christmas on the River Cook-off There are three competitions: ribs, shoulders, and whole hog.
Outdoor Drama ~ The Miracle Worker The Miracle Worker is a play about Helen Keller‘s early life and her teacher Anne Sullivan.
Outdoor Musical Drama ~ The Incident at Looney’s Tavern This is the story of the "Free State of Winston" during the Civil War.
Alabama State Horse Show ~ Alabama State Championship Horse Show The State Horse Show is held in Montgomery each October.
Horseshoe Tournament ~ Stockton Fall Horseshoe Tournament The legislature designated a state horseshoe tournament in 1992, but the event no longer takes place.
Poet Laureate ~ Alabama State Poets Laureate The poet laureate receives a medal to wear.
Quilt ~ Pine Burr Quilt The official quilt of Alabama is the Pine Burr Quilt.
Renaissance Faire ~ Florence Renaissance Faire The 12th through the 16th centuries are celebrated in Renaissance Faires.
Historic Theatre ~ Alabama Theatre for the Performing Arts The Alabama Theatre is in Birmingham.
UNOFFICIAL ALABAMA EMBLEMS
Nickname ~ Alabama does not have an official nickname. It is commonly referred to as "the Heart of Dixie" and that phrase has appeared on state automobile license plates since the 1950s, but it is not an official nickname. Alabama has also been known as the Cotton State and the Yellowhammer State.
Stars Fell on Alabama The phrase "Stars Fell on Alabama" was placed on Alabama automobile license plates in 2002. It refers to a meteor shower that was seen across Alabama on November 12-13, 1833. It is also the title of a song and a book.
Updated: April 27, 2010