The State Coat of Arms of Alabama depicts a shield upon which is carried the Symbols of the five Nations. That Nation has at various times held sovereignty over a part or the whole of what is now Alabama. These are the ancient coat of arms of France (three fleurs-de-lis). The bill to legalize a State Coat of Arms of Alabama was introduced in the Alabama Legislature in 1939 by James Simpson.
The Alabama Coat of Arms consists of a shield on which appears the emblems of the five governments that have held sovereignty over Alabama. The flags of Spain, France, And Great Britain, and the Confederacy are bound by the flag and shield of the United States of America. This shield is supported on either side by bald eagles, symbolic of courage. The crest is a model of the ship, the Baldine, that Iberville and Bienville sailed from France to settle a colony near present-day Mobile (1699). The motto beneath the shield is “Audemus Jura Nostra defender.” Beneath the motto is the state name.
The Historical Original design of the Alabama Coat of Arms was made in 1923 by B. J. Tieman From New York, an authority on heraldry, at the request of Marie Bankhead Owen, Director of the Department of Archives and History. A few years later Naomi Rabb Winston, Washington, DC, painted the completed design in oil. Mrs. Owen selected the motto which was put into Latin by Professor W.B. Saffold, of the University of Alabama. Coat of Arms of Alabama State was through the influence of Juliet Perry Dixon, wife of Governor Dixon, that official action was taken by the legislature.
Coat of Arms of the State of Alabama:
Adopted: March 14, 1939
Crest: A representation of the French colonial ship Badine facing to the sinister proper
Torse: Argent and Gules
Blazon: Three yellow Fleurs-de-lis on a blue background, representing France in the upper left quarter, the royal standard of Castile and León in the upper right quarter, representing Spain, ten stars on a white-fimbriated blue saltire on a red background representing the Confederacy at lower right, the Union Jack representing the United Kingdom at lower left, and in the center an inescutcheon of thirteen red and white vertical stripes below a blue chief, representing the Union.
Supporters: Two American eagles proper
Motto: Audemus Jura Nostra defender
(Latin: “We dare defend our rights”)