The blogs about the American Bald Eagle contained a lot of interesting information about the bird and its place in American culture. Some of the connections would not be obvious to non-Americans, such as its presence on U.S. passports, which was very useful.
The blogs also offered a good analysis of dissent over adopting the Bald Eagle as a symbol of America. Remembering that history is not homogenous is incredibly important, and the writers did well to avoid this. They could have gone even further with this, and made some links between Benjamin Franklin’s opinions of the bird and some contemporary foreign sentiments about America as an aggressive and proud nation. Robert J. Lieber makes these connections explicit in his book Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century.
Although the writers discussed what the separate elements of the Seal symbolised in terms of America, they could have also looked at how the eagle, olive branch and fasces were also symbols of the Roman Empire, and perhaps commented on how the Founding Fathers appropriated classical myths and symbols when they established America’s own iconography.
The role of the eagle as a symbol of government is important in American iconography, but the writers could have also looked at what the birds mean to indigenous Americans. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence points out that “for many American Indians, no being is more sacred than the eagle.” While there obviously was not room to cover everything, we should all keep in mind that the history and culture of America did not start with the Mayflower.