Origins of the Alabama State Flag Though Alabama entered the Union in 1819, it wasn't until the state seceded from the Union in 1861 that Alabamans adopted a flag of their own. At the Secession Convention of January 11, 1861, distressed Alabama citizens decided to withdraw from the Union of the United States. At the same time, they adopted their own flag. Designed by a group of Montgomery women, the "Secession Convention Flag" became Alabama's first official flag. Because Alabama had left the union, the flag was often referred to as the "Republic of Alabama flag."
The Current Alabama State Flag It is sometimes believed that the crimson saltire of the current flag of Alabama was designed to resemble the blue saltire of the Confederate Battle Flag. Many battle flags were square, and the flag of Alabama is sometimes also depicted as square. The legislation that created the state flag did not specify that the flag was to be square, however. The authors of a 1917 article in National Geographic expressed their opinion that because the Alabama flag was based on the Battle Flag, it should be square. In 1987, the office of Alabama Attorney General Don Siegelman issued an opinion in which the Battle Flag derivation is repeated, but concluded that the proper shape is rectangular, as it had been depicted numerous times in official publications and reproductions; despite this, the flag is still depicted as being square, even in official publications of the U.S. federal government.