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Alabama Quick Facts

Date of statehood: December 14, 1819 (22nd state)

Origin of name: The state is named after the Alabama Indian tribe that inhabited western Alabama and eastern Mississippi until the early nineteenth century.

Territorial periods: 1798, Mississippi Territory created (included land that became Alabama); 1817, Alabama Territory created

Capital: Montgomery, since 1847

Other capitals: St. Stephens (territorial, 1817-1819), Huntsville (1819), Cahaba (1820-1825), Tuscaloosa (1826-1846)

Population: Estimated 4,779,736 (2010 U.S. Census Bureau estimate)

Land area: 52,423 square miles

Water area: 1,673 square miles

Width: 191 miles (306 km)

Length: 332 miles (531 km)

Highest point: Cheaha Mountain (2,407 feet above sea level)

Lowest point: Sea level where Alabama meets the Gulf of Mexico

Motto: "Audemus jura nostra defendere"; translation: "We Dare Maintain Our Rights"

Nickname: Alabama does not have an official nickname, but is often referred to as the "Heart of Dixie." It has also been called the "Cotton State" and the "Yellowhammer State."

Current governor: Kay Ivey

Electoral votes: 9

Representation in Congress: 2 senators, 7 representatives

 

State Creed: The official creed of Alabama was originally created for the Alabama Federation of Women's Clubs and was written by Mrs. H. P. Thetford of Birmingham. It was officially adopted by the state legislature in 1953.

I believe in Alabama, a state dedicated to a faith in God and the enlightenment of mankind; to a democracy that safeguards the liberties of each citizen and to the conservation of her youth, her ideals, and her soil. I believe it is my duty to obey her laws, to respect her flag and to be alert to her needs and generous in my efforts to foster her advancement within the statehood of the world.

Official State Seal of Alabama

The Alabama State Seal was created in 1817, when Alabama was still a territory. The idea of a map of the territory showing its rivers and the...

State Coat of Arms

The official Alabama Coat of Arms was officially adopted on March 14, 1939. The symbols on the shield represent the five governments that have held...

State Flag

The official flag of the state of Alabama features a cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, on a white field and is based on the Confederate...

State Bird: Yellowhammer

The official bird of Alabama is the yellowhammer, or common flicker (Colaptes auratus Linnaeus), a variety of woodpecker that is found...

State Flower: Camellia

Although it is not native to the state, the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica L) was officially named the state flower of Alabama in 1959, presumably...

State Wildflower: Oak leaf hydrangea

The oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr.) is a native woodland shrub that blooms in the spring. It is found throughout Alabama and was...

State Game Bird: Wild Turkey

Turkey hunting is a popular sport in the state, so it is not surprising that the wild turkey is the official state game bird. Turkeys are shy animals and are...

State Mammal: Black Bear

The black bear was named the official state mammal in 2006. Black bears were once common in the state and are currently the subject of conservation...

State Horse: Racking Horse

The racking horse, a gaited breed to the Tennessee Walking Horse, dates back to Alabama's territorial period. "Racking" refers to the rhythm of the horse’s...

State Insect: Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexipuss) is a common summer visitor to Alabama. It was named the official state insect in 1989.

State Mascot & Butterfly: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is the official mascot and butterfly of the state of Alabama. It was so designated at the request of...

State Amphibian: Red Hills Salamander

The rare and endangered Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti) is the official state amphibian of Alabama. Extremely secretive and difficult to...

State Reptile: Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle

The Alabama red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis) is native to Alabama. The red-belly inhabits the fresh to brackish waters of the Mobile...

State Freshwater Fish: Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), a popular sport fish, is found in large numbers in all of Alabama's inland waters. It was designated the...

State Saltwater Fish: Fighting Tarpon

The fighting tarpon (Tarpon atlanticus), a large, silver game fish, was named the official state saltwater fish in 1975. Tarpon can reach 100 pounds and...

State Mineral: Hematite

Hematite (Fe2O3), or "red iron ore," was chosen as the state mineral in 1967 to acknowledge the importance of the mining and iron and steel industries...

State Rock: Marble

Marble, the official Alabama state rock, is found throughout central Alabama. The state's marble has been used in buildings all over the United States...

State Gemstone: Star Blue Quartz

Quartz (SiO2) is an abundant mineral in Alabama rocks. Several varieties of quartz are valuable as gemstones, including the popular amethyst...

State Fossil: Basilosaurus cetoides

The prehistoric whale Basilosaurus cetoides was first discovered in Clarke County in 1833. These creatures lived some 45 million years ago and were...

State Shell: Johnstone's junonia

The official state shell, Johnstone's junonia (Scaphella junonia johnstoneae), is home to a marine snail common to the Gulf Coast...

State Tree: Southern Longleaf Pine

The southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Miller) is the official state tree of Alabama. The longleaf pine is peculiar among all trees in that it develops...

State Nut: Pecan

The pecan, a thin-shelled nut, grows on stately trees that are found throughout the southern half of the United States. Pecans are valuable wildlife food...

State Tree Fruit: Peach

Alabama's peach industry is centered in Chilton County. Peaches were first grown in the state in the Lowndes County in the 1850s, and they are...

State Fruit: Blackberry

The official Alabama state fruit is the blackberry. It was adopted through the efforts of the third-grade students of Fairhope Elementary school in 2003.

State Soil: The Bama Soil Series

The Bama Soil Series, which is found throughout the state, is the official Alabama soil type. A soil series refers to a large area of naturally occurring...

State Quilt: Pine-Burr Quilt

The Pine Burr Quilt was chosen as the state quilt of Alabama in recognition of its creation by the quilters of Gee's Bend and the Freedom Quilting Bee...

State BBQ Championship: Demopolis Christmas on the River Cook-off

The annual "Christmas on the River Cook-off" in Demopolis is Alabama's official state barbeque championship. Established in 1989, the contest...

State Historic Theater: Alabama Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Alabama Theatre in Birmingham is the official state historic theatre. It opened on December 16, 1927 and was part of the Paramount Theatre chain...

State Horseshow: AOHA Alabama State Championship Horse Show

The AOHA Alabama State Championship Horse Show, sponsored by the Alabama Open Horseman Association, is held annually in Montgomery in May...

State Outdoor Drama: The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

Alabama's official outdoor drama is The Miracle Worker, William Gibson's 1962 play based on the early life of Helen Keller. The play is performed annually...

State Agricultural Museum: Landmark Park

Landmark Park, in Dothan, is a 100-acre living-history museum with exhibits and activities relating to the cultural and natural heritage of Alabama's...

State Spirit: Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey

In 2004, the Alabama State Legislature named Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey as the official state spirit. The whiskey was first made by...

State Folk Dance: Square Dance

The square dance, a type of folk dance involving couples, originated in seventeenth-century Europe and was brought to North America by European...

State Renaissance Faire: Alabama Renaissance Faire

The Alabama Renaissance Faire, held annually in October in Florence at Wilson Park, became the official state renaissance fair in 1988. The two-day...