Veterans' Day 2016 is 21 short days away--November 11. Another great day to bring out the red, white and blue. I have another patriotic addition, an American Eagle chair pad. While reading blogs one day, I saw this American Eagle with surrounding stars and thought it seemed a natural fit to compliment my patriotic quilts. My wool stash had a good assortment of red, white and blues. The eagle motif came from the Primitive Quilts magazine and I modified the stars until they fit. If anyone is counting, there are thirteen stars for the thirteen original colonies. Forever the history buff.
The bald eagle (I prefer the American eagle) was chosen as the emblem of the United States of America because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks. Benjamin Franklin did not want the bald eagle to be the chosen bird. Here is what our founding forefather wrote about the bald eagle:
I wish that the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country, he is a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly, you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk, and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to its nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him. . . Besides he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest of America. For a truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard wearing his red coat.
Franklin did not hold back about his feelings about the bald eagle being chosen. The turkey, well he earned his place in American history for another holiday celebrated in November--Thanksgiving.
As much as I love and respect the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, I am glad the eagle became the emblem for the United States--the eagle is a majestic bird. One other reason for loving the eagle: his amazing eyesight. It is estimated the eagle's eyesight is 4 to 8 times stronger than that of the average human. Some say an eagle can see a rabbit up to two miles away. No more glasses, no more magnifying lights--a plus for all the needlework projects.