Alabama The Heart of Dixie 15 inch finished block. Alabama was named after the river. The Alabama River was named by European explorers after the Indian tribe that lived in the territory. The name Alabama is thought to come from a combination of two Choctaw words; Alba and Amo. In Choctaw, “Alba” means vegetation, herbs, plants and “Amo” means gatherer or picker. State symbols: bird - Yellow-hammer, flower - Camellia, fruit - Blackberry, and wildflower - Oak-leaf Hydrangea.