Alabama is a fantastic state. It is quite small, being the 30th largest, but it does have a very varied geography. For Kevin Rolle Alabama is the place to be for anyone who wants to study, work, and live in a pleasant, friendly, beautiful location. In his role as Executive Vice President/COO at Alabama A&M University (AAMU), he has played an important role in helping students start their lives in this state. He also believes that those who wish to move here should spend some time familiarizing themselves with the state and its most important symbols.
Important Alabama Historical Symbols
- The state doesn’t have a nickname, although many do call it the “Heart of Dixie”, which is also on the license plates. However, license plates have now changed to “Stars Fell on Alabama”.
- The state has its own bible, which was bought in 1853, and it is still used by the Executive Department of the state today. The book is used when governors are inaugurated, and President Jefferson Davis took his oath on it in 1861.
- In 1817, the Great Seal of Alabama was made by William Wyatt Bibb, the then governor. In 1819, it became the official seal.
- The state flag shows the St. Andrew’s cross, based on the February 16, 1895 legislature.
- The yellowhammer is the official state bird, also known as the flicker. It is gray-brown in color and features broken black bars are yellow shafts. The bird has a black tail and a white rump path. The bird’s neck is gray and the nape shows a red band. The bird also has a “moustache” on its throat, which is pink and black in color. Female birds do not have this moustache. The bird’s body has black spots and is cream in color, and the bottom of its wings is bright yellow. The yellowhammer has a sharp beak, which is where its name is derived from. They live in the state all year long.
- In 1939, new legislature legalized the State Coat of Arms. B.J. Tieman designed it, showing a shield with fiver governmental emblems, being those of the United States, the Confederacy, Great Britain, France, and Spain. This is because each of those countries has controlled the state at some point. Bald eagles hold the shield up on each side, representing courage. A ship is place on its crest, which is a representation of the French ship that first sailed into Alabama. The motto is “audemus jura nostra defendre”, and the name Alabama is written below it.
- The state’s title song is “Alabama”, composed by Edna Gockel Gussen Birmingham. Julia S. Tutwiler wrote the song’s lyrics.
What these state symbols mainly show is Alabama’s unique history, and its strong links with the Confederacy. For Dr. Knolle, being aware of these symbols will enable students to better integrate into their new community, and to have a better appreciation of their new home. He encourages students to contact him for further information about the state.