The Meaning of the Eagle...
Contrary to popular belief, the eagle was not selected as a distinctive native bird but was adapted from the emblem of ancient Rome - the eagle standard.
By its selection, Congress viewed the infant republic as a future giant in resources and world influence. Some members of Congress, however, argued for a more "indigenous" symbol such as the wild turkey of Thanksgiving memory , while others thought the dove of peace more appropriate to a young nation intending to live in harmony with all peoples.
The eagle, traditional ruler of the heights of freedom, fiercely independent and protective of its young, won out as the symbol of what the United States of America stood for and what it would become.