Flags, like seals, are symbols that legitimize the sovereignty of each state, linked by vote of the people into the union of the United States.
The flags of the states, often displaying the coats of arms, are also tableaux of each state's history. Hawaii's flag proudly symbolizes its founding by displaying Great Britain's Union Jack. New Mexico retains the yellow and red colors of Spain in its flag together with the Zia symbol, an ancient Indian symbol of friendship. The crossed peace pipe and olive branch of Oklahoma's flag and the Indian figure and steamboat of Florida's flag vividly recall the history of these states.
The state flag of Alabama was officially designated in 1895. The law declares that the flag, reminiscent of the Confederate battle flag, "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."1
The governor's flag is the state flag with the addition of the coat of arms or great seal in the upper portion above the cross, and in the lower portion, the military crest of the state.2