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13 July 2005

Presidents and States of the United States

My only complaint about the early symbols adopted for the United States is the use of the Eagle. This was a Roman symbol. It was certainly associated with the Roman Republic by the Founding Fathers, but it had been used for many centuries for Empires, including the Roman Empire itself, the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, and later the French, Austrian, and German Empires. Usually the only alternative that gets mentioned for America is Benjamin Franklin's proposal that the Turkey be made the national bird. This is usually brought up now only as a joke, since Turkeys are pretty stupid. But there is still a very real alternative, and that is the Owl, the sacred animal of the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and patroness of the city of Athens, the first classic democracy. Perhaps when we have learned again even a fraction of the wisdom of the Founders, this might be reconsidered. We have certainly become such fools as to merit no such symbol. In that sense, the Turkey is the national bird.

An owl.... That's actually not bad... not bad at all...