State of Alabama
ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Probably after the Alabama Indian tribe. NICKNAME: The Heart of Dixie. CAPITAL: Montgomery. ENTERED UNION: 14 December 1819 (22nd). SONG: "Alabama." MOTTO: Aldemus jura nostra defendere (We dare defend our rights). COAT OF ARMS: Two eagles, symbolizing courage, support a shield bearing the emblems of the five governments (France, England, Spain, Confederacy, US) that have held sovereignty over Alabama. Above the shield is a sailing vessel modeled upon the ships of the first French settlers of Alabama; beneath the shield is the state motto. FLAG: Crimson cross of St. Andrew on a square white field. OFFICIAL SEAL: Map of Alabama, including names of major rivers and neighboring states, surrounded by the words "Alabama Great Seal." BIRD: Yellowhammer. FISH: Tarpon. FLOWER: Camellia. TREE: Southern (longleaf) pine. GEM: Star blue quartz. STONE: Marble. MINERAL: Hematite. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; George Washington's/Thomas Jefferson's Birthdays, 3rd Monday in February; Mardi Gras, February or March; Confederate Memorial Day, 4th Monday in April; Jefferson Davis's Birthday, 1st Monday in June; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 6 am CST = noon GMT.