What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “American”? You’re a cold-blooded liar if you answered anything except “a big bald eagle”. The eagle represents everything Americans stand for: soaring majestically over everything else, providing a swift end to our enemies, and baldness. Do I really need to prove it? Fine. The following is a conclusive, unquestionable, evidence-laden description of the cold, hard, avian fact that being American and being an eagle are one and the same.

For our first batch of rock-solid evidence, we have American Marine Corps Veteran Tegan Griffith. There’s the obvious observation that both eagles and Marines hunt and kill their enemies, but we’re going to go a little deeper than that. When she goes to Iraq to serve her country, what is her medium of transportation? She doesn’t take a boat; that wouldn’t be the American way. She takes a plane. That flies. Just like an eagle.

The New York Times interviewed a bunch of people and asked them what it means to be American. None of them had the wisdom to say “being an eagle”, but one person got close. He said “If you work hard, you get good things in life”. The eagle doesn’t get anything for free. It needs to scour the countryside looking for prey. Hard work is definitely something both eagles and Americans share.

Even fictional characters allude to the eagle when they speak of America. In the opening scene of “The Newsroom”, a news anchor is portrayed as conflict-avoiding, dodging every question he receives. So when he gives a detailed answer to the last question, why America is the greatest country in the world, the audience thinks that this one must be really important for him to break his silence. And his answer: America is not the greatest country in the world. Just like the eagle isn’t the greatest bird in the world! It’s not the biggest; that would be the condor. It’s not the fastest; that’s the peregrine falcon. It’s not the most adaptive or successful; that’s the pigeon. And yet many are of the opinion that the eagle is the best bird ever. Have you ever seen an analogy match so perfectly?

Works cited: “Marine Life in the Midwest.” Facing History and Ourselves, www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/video/marine-life-midwest-tegan-griffith, “The Way North.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 May 2014, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39., “The Newsroom” HBO, HBO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPHSXUS0_1c

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CC BY-SA 4.0 American Means Eagles by Nathaniel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Comments
  1. Joseph 5 months ago

    Nathaniel,

    This was quite a compelling article on the comparison between the US and eagles. It seems that people have lost their sense of nationalism and that pride is just what that eagle represents. Your analogies fit this post perfectly. Here is a source that talks about why the eagle is such a powerful bird:
    http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/629-eagle-symbolism

  2. James 6 months ago

    Nathaniel,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading you article “American Means Eagles”. You have a gripping style of writing, that entices readers to continue on till the end. I especially like how you used the description of an Eagle as a parallel to the hard work and the initiative of the American people. Here is a historical account of how the Eagle became the symbol of America that you might find interesting. https://www.history.com/news/how-did-the-bald-eagle-become-americas-national-bird

  3. Mary 6 months ago

    The American Bald Eagle

  4. Mary 6 months ago

    Nathaniel,
    Your take on eagles and how they relate to freedom was a very interesting one. I do agree that eagles are a symbol for freedom in America but inferring what people think based on what they say is not a very good way to support your evidence. Here’s an article that can back up your claim of how an eagles are a symbol of freedom with more substantial evidence (Celebrating America’s Freedom). It talks about the eagle appearing on the American flag as well as on billions of one dollar bills making it a very important symbol for America. I hope you find this article helpful and I hope to read more of your work.

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