The eagle takes center stage


On the front of the fourth design, Charles Thomson combined elements of all three previous attempts. He made the eagle the focal point with its wings pointed down as if in flight. The shield on the eagle’s breast was blue with 13 red and white chevrons pointing up. William Barton later altered these elements to create the current design. Text adapted from “Teaching with Documents :” in the November/December 2002 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.

National Archives, Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention


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