In 1895 Alabama began to start adopting its own official state symbols, starting with its flag. State symbols have been a mainstay of U.S. culture since the very beginning. Official symbols are used to represent each state’s cultural heritage and natural history in the most fun way possible.

Alabama, like most other states, has a bunch of symbols that are indicative to the state’s historical roots and geological history. There are also recognizable icons and emblems for each state, such as state seals and flags, nicknames and mottos, and much more which we have included in our Alabama state symbol list.

Alabama state symbols

State Symbols of Alabama

There are a plethora of state symbols for Alabama, and all states for that matter, creating a whole host of interesting facts, both from the past and present. We have created a list of the top 6 most significant Alabama state symbols below, and at the bottom of this article, you will find a comprehensive table with each Alabama symbol and the date in which they were officially created.

Alabama State Animals

The famous black bear (Ursus americanus) has been the official Alabama state mammal since 1996. Like a few other states, Alabama does not have an official state animal; instead, the state uses a land mammal and a sea mammal to represent it.

Black bears are incredibly intelligent, shy, and introverted animals, for the most part. Coming across one of these in the wild is not that common as they are so secretive and shy. They also sport more colors than just black. There are cinnamon, white, beige, and even blue-colored black bears spotted around North America!

Typically, adult black bears vary considerably in size, going from 150 lbs (pounds) to 500 lbs (pounds)! Their diet consists of just about anything they can get their paws on, but as a rule, they tend to eat nuts, berries, grass, and roots in the wild. Additionally, they will eat insects and small mammals as a rare treat.

An estimated 600,000 black bears reside in North America and 300,000 in the United States.

Alabama state animals

The next animal to represent Alabama is the sea mammal, the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). This incredibly unique marine mammal has been the official state marine mammal since 2009, when aquatic state symbols came into effect in Alabama.

In March 2017, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that these “sea cows” were no longer endangered or threatened species due to improvements in their natural habitat and water conditions. Today, there are around 13,000 manatees residing in the wild.

Alabama State Fruit

The peach (Rosacea, genus prunus) has been the official state fruit for Alabama since 2006. Previously, the fruit to represent the state was the blackberry, which was originally adopted in 1949. Funnily enough, it is not just Alabama that has the peach as the official state fruit. The state of Georgia also uses the peach as its state fruit and state nickname!

Alabama state fruit

Alabama State Bird and Flower

The yellowhammer became the official state bird of Alabama in 1927, the official name of this bird is actually the northern flicker. Alabama is the only one out of all 50 states that recognizes a woodpecker species as the official state bird. In addition to the Alabama state bird, Albama also adopted a state game bird in 1980. Take a look at our table below to see what it is!

Alabama state bird and flower

Camellias are some of the purest and most beautiful flowers in the world, and they have been the flower to represent the state of Alabama since 1959, replacing the goldenrod flower, which was adopted in 1927. You will see camellias appear on Alabama’s state quarter too.

Alabama State Seal

The Alabama state seal was originally designed in 1817 by the first-ever governor of the Alabama Territory, William Wyatt Bibb. The seal itself displays the major rivers that run through the state, and that has played a significant role in the history of Alabama over the years.

Alabama state seal

Alabama State Insect

Like many other states, Alabama has adopted the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state insect. It was in 1989 when the butterfly was officially adopted as the insect state symbol; however, in addition to this, Alabama has adopted an agricultural insect, which is the queen honeybee!

Texas state insect

Alabama State Tree

Alabama’s official state tree is the longleaf pine and has been since 1949. These beautiful yet unique pine trees used to cover over 90 million acres in the southeastern corner of the United States! Nowadays, their population has unfortunately faced a decline, and over 30 different plant and animal species that are associated with the pine are threatened or endangered.

Alabama state tree

All Alabama State Symbols (Table)

Now that we have looked at some of the more popular and notable state symbols that are associated with the great state of Alabama, it makes sense to showcase all the Alabama state symbols that are best used to represent the state’s historical and more present achievements and moments. Here is the complete list of symbols and their associated dates of enactment:

Type Of SymbolState SymbolYear
Alabama State Agricultural InsectQueen honey bee2015
Alabama State Agricultural MuseumDothan Landmarks Parks1992
Alabama State American Folk DanceSquare dance1981
Alabama State AmphibianRed Hills Salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti Highton, 1961)2000
Alabama State Barbeque ChampionshipChristmas on the River Barbeque Cookoff1991
Alabama State BirdYellowhammer (Colaptes auratus)1927
Alabama State ButterflyEastern Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus)1989
Alabama State CakeLane cake2016
Alabama State CrustaceanBrown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus)2015
Alabama State FlagCivil and State Flag1895
Alabama State FlowerCamellia (Camellia japonica L.)1959
Alabama State FossilBasilosaurus cetoides1984
Alabama State Freshwater FishLargemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)1975
Alabama State FruitBlackberry (Rubus occidentalis L.)2004
Alabama State Game BirdWild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)1980
Alabama State GemstoneStar Blue Quartz1990
Alabama State SealSeal of the State of Alabama1939
Alabama State Historic TheatreAlabama Theatre for the Performing Arts1993
Alabama State HorseRacking Horse1975
Alabama State Horse ShowThe Alabama Championship Horse Show1988
Alabama State Horseshoe TournamentStockton Fall Horseshoe Tournament1992
Alabama State InsectMonarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)1989
Alabama State Literary Capital of AlabamaMonroeville and Monroe County1997
Alabama State MammalBlack bear (Ursus americanus)2006
Alabama State Marine MammalWest Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus)2009
Alabama State MascotEastern tiger swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus)1989
Alabama State MineralRed Iron Ore (Hematite)1967
Alabama State NutPecan1982
Alabama State QuiltPine Burr Quilt1997
Alabama State Renaissance FaireFlorence Renaissance Faire ( Web site )1988
Alabama State ReptileRed-Bellied Turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis)1990
Alabama State RockMarble1969
Alabama State Saltwater FishTarpon (Megalops atlanticus)1955
Alabama State ShellJohnstone's Junonia (Scaphella junonia johnstoneae)1990
Alabama State SoilBama Soil Series1997
Alabama State Song"Alabama," words by Julia S. Tutwiler and music by Edna Gockel-Gussen1931
Alabama State SpiritConecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey2004
Alabama State TreeSouthern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Miller)1949
Alabama State Tree fruitPeach2006
Alabama State WildflowerOak-leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Bartram)1999