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The bald eagle was chosen as the United States’ national symbol after six years of debate. On June 20, 1782, the Second Continental Congress created the Great Seal of the United States. This seal used the bald eagle as its main image because of the eagle’s strength, long life, and proud look.

The bald eagle appears on the US presidential seal. Above the eagle are 13 stars for the 13 US colonies. A ring of 50 stars circle the eagle. They stand for the 50 states. This seal is also on a rug in the president’s office.

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Making Connections


Do you think another bird would have made a better national symbol? Or do you agree with the Founding Fathers’ choice?


With an adult’s help, find another book on bald eagles as a US national symbol. What information is the same? What new information does it have?


How do the laws about bald eagles affect people in the United States today? Do you think the government should keep protecting bald eagles?

Teacher Resources

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