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The Alabama State Flag Act

Note: The text of the act was taken from the Code of Alabama, found online here. The statements below that these sections have not been codified by the legislature simply means that the legislature has not voted on the specific place in which the law will be permanently placed in the Code. It does not mean that the Act is not law. It was passed as an Act of Alabama, and is as valid and binding as any other state law.

Section 1-2A-1

Short title. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Alabama State Flag Act."

(Act 2001-472, § 1.)



Section 1-2A-2

Historical information. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

The Legislature finds it is appropriate to include within this chapter general history and related information concerning the state flag. The state did not have a flag from 1819 to January 11, 1861, when a resolution was passed designating a flag designed by a group of Montgomery women as the "Republic of Alabama Flag." One side of this flag displayed, under an arch bearing the words "Independent Now and Forever," the Goddess of Liberty holding in her right hand an unsheathed sword and in her left hand a small flag with one star. Displayed on the reverse side of this flag were a large cotton plant in full fruit and flower, a coiled rattlesnake, and the Latin words "Noli Me Tangere" (Touch Me Not) beneath the cotton plant. This flag, which flew for about a month, was removed to the Governor's office on February 10, 1861, apparently suffering damage caused by severe weather. The Republic of Alabama Flag was never flown again.

From April 1865 until 1895, the State of Alabama flew the United States Flag during all official occasions.

The Alabama State Flag as it exists today was adopted on February 16, 1895, pursuant to Act No. 383 of the 1895 Legislature of Alabama (Acts 1894-1895, p. 719), which is codified as Section 1-2-5, Code of Alabama 1975. Section 1-2-5, Code of Alabama 1975, provides\:

"The flag of the state of Alabama shall be a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white. The bars forming the cross shall be not less than six inches broad, and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side."

The St. Andrew's Cross resembles the letter "X" in the English alphabet and is also referred to as the "saltier" or "Crux Decussata." According to tradition, Andrew, the brother of Peter, was crucified on a cross of this shape. Andrew did not feel worthy enough to die on the same style of cross on which Christ died and requested a cross of another shape. His request was granted and he was crucified upside down on a cross which now bears his name. Rather than using nails to secure his limbs to the cross, Andrew was bound to the cross with ropes. His suffering was thus prolonged. St. Andrew's Cross came into wide use during the Medieval Period and became the national cross of Scotland, since St. Andrew was the patron saint of Scotland.

Currently, Alabama law requires the display of the Alabama State Flag at all schools supported by public funds when school is in session. The State Superintendent of Education has determined that the Alabama State Flag must be hoisted on a pole to be appropriately displayed at school buildings.

The salute to the Alabama State Flag provides:

"Flag of Alabama I salute thee. To thee I pledge my allegiance, my service, and my life."

(Act 2001-472, § 2.)



Section 1-2A-3

Flag display protocol. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

For purposes of this chapter and any other provision of general law, appropriate flag display protocol shall expressly include, but not be limited to, the requirement that when flown on the same pole, the order of placement from top to bottom shall be the United States flag, the state flag, and other flags.

(Act 2001-472, § 3.)


Section 1-2A-4

Display of Alabama State Flag - Courthouses. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

(a) Each county courthouse and courthouse annex in which a court sits on a regular basis shall prominently display the Alabama State Flag, in accordance with appropriate flag display protocol, on a flag pole or flag poles located near the main entrance of the courthouse and the courthouse annex. If the main entrance of a courthouse annex is clearly visible from the main entrance of the courthouse, or if the courthouse and courthouse annex are attached, the flag may be located near the main entrance of the courthouse only.

(b) Unless otherwise acquired pursuant to gift, donation, or other means, the flags and flag poles required by this section shall be purchased by the county within three years after August 1, 2001.

(Act 2001-472, § 5.)



Section 1-2A-5

Display of Alabama State Flag - Law enforcement agencies. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

(a) Each state, county, and municipal law enforcement agency headquarters, including the headquarters for state troopers, peace officers, marine police officers, and local police officers, shall prominently display the Alabama State Flag, in accordance with appropriate flag display protocol, on a flag pole or flag poles located near the main entrance of the building.

(b) Unless otherwise acquired pursuant to gift, donation, or other means, the flags and flag poles required by this section shall be purchased by the applicable law enforcement agency within three years after August 1, 2001.

(c) Any municipality with a population of 1,000 or less, according to the most recent federal decennial census, shall be exempt from this section unless other flags are being flown in the municipality by the municipality.

(Act 2001-472, § 6.)



Section 1-2A-6

Display of Alabama State Flag - State parks or historic sites. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

(a) Each state park or historic site administrative building, which is located on park property and open to the general public, shall prominently display the Alabama State Flag, in accordance with appropriate flag display protocol, on a flag pole or flag poles located near the main entrance of each administrative building.

(b) Unless otherwise acquired pursuant to gift, donation, or other means, the flags and flag poles required by this section shall be purchased by the applicable park or historic site within three years after August 1, 2001.

(Act 2001-472, § 7.)



Section 1-2A-7

Display of Alabama State Flag - Department or agency facilities. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

(a) Each facility or building located in this state that is affiliated with any department or agency of the state and supported in whole or in part by public funds, shall prominently display the Alabama State Flag, in accordance with appropriate flag display protocol, on a flag pole or flag poles located near the main entrance of each facility or building. Any facility or building that is not in public view or open to the general public, or is used only for storage or other warehouse purposes, may be exempt from the requirements of this section at the discretion of the director or chief official of the department or agency.

(b) Unless otherwise acquired pursuant to gift, donation, or other means, the flags and flag poles required by this section shall be purchased by the applicable department or agency within three years after August 1, 2001.

(Act 2001-472, § 8.)



Section 1-2A-8

Display of Alabama State Flag - Municipal buildings. THIS SECTION WAS ASSIGNED BY THE CODE COMMISSIONER. THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN CODIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

(a) Each municipal building located in this state which is open to the general public and supported in whole or in part by public funds, shall prominently display the Alabama State Flag, in accordance with appropriate flag display protocol, on a flag pole or flag poles located near the main entrance of each building.

(b) Unless otherwise acquired pursuant to gift, donation, or other means, the flags and flag poles required by this section shall be purchased by the applicable municipality within three years after August 1, 2001.

(c) Any municipality with a population of 1,000 or less, according to the most recent federal decennial census, shall be exempt from this section unless other flags are being flown in the municipality by the municipality.

(Act 2001-472, § 9.)


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