Alabama Symbols, Emblems, and Honors
The Great Seal of Alabama
Alabama's Great Seal shows the major rivers of the state and was designed by the first governor, William Wyatt Bibb. The seal was created in 1817 when Bibb was Governor of the Alabama Territory. He realized he needed an official seal for his commissions and other state papers. Governor Bibb felt the best seal would be a map of the territory showing its rivers. It also showed the territories (now states) surrounding Alabama.
By 1819, when Alabama became a state, the seal became the state seal. The state seal remained unchanged for 50 years. After the Civil War a new seal was made in 1868. This seal showed an eagle standing on the American shield and holding a banner in its beak, which read "Here We Rest". This seal was used from 1868 - 1939 on official documents and letterheads. In 1939 a bill was introduced by the legislature to restore the original seal as the Great Seal of Alabama. The bill was approved by the Legislature and Governor Frank M. Dixon in 1939.
Act 1868-133, Acts of Alabama, December 29, 1868
Act 39-20, Acts of Alabama, Special Session, April 5, 1939
Alabama State Emblems, Alabama Department of Archives and History, nd.
Updated: January 25, 2010