Developing Eagle
Symbol of America
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A National Symbol:


The Bald Eagle has been a part of American folklore and a symbol for freedom and prosperity ever since the above seal was created and adopted back in June of 1782, only six years after American gained it's independence from England.

The bald eagle was chosen for its inspirational beauty and strength, but not without some controversy. Ben Franklin wrote his daughter expressing concerns about the Bald Eagle's moral character not being fitting of the United States, citing his observations that they are lazy and thieves. Franklin also made statements that the eagle looked more like a turkey in the drawings submitted for the great seal.

Image available on the public domain.

Instead, Franklin suggested that a rattlesnake would be the proper symbol for the nation which he suggested in a written letter to the Pennsylvania Journal in 1775. The was letter modestly signed "An American Guesser," which only recently has been identified as Franklin.

But to Franklin's dismay, the Bald Eagle was adopted the same day that Charles Thomson, the Secretary of Congress at the time, submitted it.


 Charles Thomson offered an explanation for his design, June 20th,1782

"The colours of the pales are those used in the Flag of the united    States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valor, and Blue, the colours of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace and war which is exclusively vesting in Congress. The constellation denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born the breast of an American Eagle without any supporters to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue."

Various Seals of our our Armed Forces featuring a bald eagle:

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