The state coat of arms of Alabama was adopted by the state legislature in 1939 and is blazoned in Section 1-2-2 of the Code of Alabama as: "arms: quarterly, the first azure three fleur de lis or (for France); second quarterly first and fourth gules a tower triple towered or, second and third argent a lion rampant gules (for Spain); third azure a saltire argent and gules over all a cross of the last fimbriated of the second (for Great Britain); fourth gules of a saltire azure, fimbriated argent 13 mullets of the last (for the Confederacy); at center in escutcheon chief azure paly argent and gules 13 (for United States) arms supported by two American eagles displayed. Crest: A full rigged ship proper."
Section 1-2-1 explains the significance of the coat of arms as representing "the flags of four of the five nations which have at various times held sovereignty over a part or the whole of what is now the state of Alabama: Spain, France, Great Britain and the Confederacy. The union binding these flags shall be the shield of the United States. . . . The crest of the coat of arms shall be a ship representing the 'Badine' which brought the French colonists who established the first permanent white settlements in the state. Beneath the shield there shall be a scroll containing the sentence in Latin: Audemus jura nostra defendere, the English interpretation of which is 'We Dare Maintain Our Rights.'"