State NickName: Yellowhammer State
NickName Origins: Alabama has a central position within the cotton-growing area east of the Mississippi, which has led it to be known as the Cotton State (1844) or the Cotton Plantation State. However, this term was also applied to all the states of the area as a group. There were also many variations quoted, such as Cottondom (first seen in 1856), Cotton Belt (1871), Cotton Country (1871), and even Cottonia (1862). The first Alabamians were sometimes known as "lizards", which gave the state its earlier nickname of Lizard State back in 1845. In more recent times the state has been known as the Yellowhammer State, from Civil War days, and many people believe that it derives from the species of woodpecker - in reality, it arose from the yellow colour of the home-dyed uniforms that the Alabama troops wore during the Civil War. Occasionally, Alabama also gets the Camelia State. While there is no official nickname for the state, The Heart of Dixie is the most commonly used. It was introduced by the state's Chamber of Commerce in the 1940's for publicity purposes, and in 1951 was approved by the legislature for inclusion on licence plates, although the first of these did not appear until four years later.