Forget the Eagle, Ben Franklin told the people. For a thief cannot show the way; a coward too lazy to get his prey. He knew of another whose courage rang true; whose colors reflected the red, white, and blue. Though a bit silly and sometimes vain, it is a symbol of strength and honor just the same. Brave and loyal, brilliant and bold, representing truth and justice, is what he told.
What is the symbol for America Ben Franklin suggested instead of the Eagle?
Answer: The Turkey
The Eagle, Ben Franklin, and the Turkey
The society's insignia had a poorly drawn eagle that looked more like a turkey, which prompted Franklin's naturally inquisitive mind to compare and contrast the two birds as a symbol for the United States.
Franklin's Letter to His Daughter (excerpt)"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen 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 near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. "With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Birdnot 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 Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...