Soaring Symbols: Nations That Have Adopted The Eagle

With its majestic profile and fierce power, the eagle has captivated cultures for millenia as the undisputed king of the birds. This commanding bird of prey has naturally inspired nations across the globe to take it as their official emblem.

In short, at least 12 countries have made the eagle their national symbol, including the United States, Mexico, Germany, and Poland. The eagle’s association with strength, sovereignty, vision, and nobility make it a perfect iconic representation of a nation’s spirit and values.

Read on for a complete overview of the many countries that have adopted the regal eagle as their official national symbol, their reasons for doing so, and the origins of their unique eagle iconography.

North and South America

United States of America

The United States of America is perhaps the most well-known nation that has adopted the eagle as a national symbol. The bald eagle, specifically, is the national bird and emblem of the United States. It represents strength, freedom, and resilience.

The bald eagle can be found in various parts of the country, particularly near bodies of water where it hunts for fish. Its majestic appearance and graceful flight have made it a beloved symbol of American pride.

The bald eagle is prominently featured on the Great Seal of the United States, as well as on numerous official documents and government buildings.


Mexico is another country in the Americas that has incorporated the eagle into its national identity. The golden eagle, known as the “águila real” in Spanish, is the national bird of Mexico. It holds significant cultural and historical importance for the Mexican people.

According to ancient Aztec mythology, the god Huitzilopochtli guided the Aztecs to settle in a place where they would find an eagle perched on a cactus devouring a snake. This image is now depicted on the Mexican flag, known as the “Mexican Coat of Arms.”

The golden eagle is also a symbol of power and strength in Mexican folklore and traditions.


While not as widely recognized as the United States or Mexico, Panama also has a strong connection to the eagle as a national symbol. The harpy eagle, known as the “águila harpía” in Spanish, is the national bird of Panama.

It is one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world, known for its impressive size and strength. The harpy eagle is native to the rainforests of Central and South America, including Panama. It is a symbol of the country’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty.

The government of Panama has taken steps to protect and conserve the harpy eagle, recognizing its importance as a national symbol and as a keystone species in the ecosystem.



Albania is one of the European nations that have adopted the eagle as a symbol. The Albanian flag prominently displays a double-headed eagle, which has been a symbol of the country for centuries. The eagle represents strength, freedom, and independence.

It is believed to have originated from the Byzantine Empire and has remained an important symbol in Albanian culture.


In Germany, the eagle has been a symbol of power and authority for many centuries. The German coat of arms features a golden eagle, known as the Bundesadler, which represents the strength and unity of the nation. The eagle’s wings are spread wide, symbolizing Germany’s aspirations and ambitions.

It is a symbol that instills a sense of pride and patriotism among the German people.


Poland is another European country that has adopted the eagle as a national symbol. The emblem of Poland, known as the White Eagle, has a long history and is deeply rooted in Polish culture. The eagle is a symbol of courage, valor, and wisdom.

It is also associated with the Polish nation’s resilience and determination to protect its freedom and independence.


Several other European countries have also incorporated the eagle into their national symbols. For example, Austria, Russia, and Serbia all feature the eagle in their coats of arms. The eagle’s association with power, strength, and nobility makes it a popular choice for many nations.

Its majestic presence in national emblems serves as a reminder of the values and aspirations that these countries hold dear.



Egypt, a country located in northeastern Africa, is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. The country’s national symbol is the golden eagle, which holds great significance in Egyptian mythology and ancient Egyptian art.

The eagle is often associated with Horus, the ancient Egyptian god of the sky and kingship. It is believed that Horus took the form of a golden eagle to protect and guide the pharaohs. The image of the eagle can be seen in various Egyptian artifacts and hieroglyphs, symbolizing power, strength, and protection.


Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is another nation that has adopted the eagle as its national symbol. The eagle in Zambia’s coat of arms represents the country’s aspirations for freedom, peace, and unity.

The eagle is depicted with its wings spread wide, symbolizing the country’s desire to soar to new heights and overcome challenges. It is a powerful symbol that embodies the spirit and resilience of the Zambian people.


Several other nations in Africa have also chosen the eagle as a symbol of their national identity. For example, Nigeria, one of the most populous countries in Africa, has the eagle as its national bird.

The eagle is seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and vision, reflecting the nation’s determination to achieve greatness. Similarly, Ghana, another West African country, has the eagle featured in its coat of arms, representing the country’s values of bravery and vigilance.

The choice of the eagle as a national symbol in these African countries reflects the admiration for this majestic bird and its characteristics. The eagle’s ability to soar high in the sky, its sharp vision, and its fearless nature make it a fitting representation of the aspirations and values of these nations.

It serves as a reminder of the strength and potential that lie within each African country and its people.



The Philippines is one of the nations in Asia that has adopted the eagle as a symbol. The Philippine Eagle, also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. It is endemic to the Philippines and is considered a national bird.

With its majestic appearance and impressive wingspan, the Philippine Eagle represents strength, freedom, and national pride. It is a symbol of the country’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage.


In Kazakhstan, the golden eagle holds a special place in the hearts of its people. The golden eagle is a revered and respected bird in Kazakh culture, symbolizing courage, power, and nobility. Traditionally, the golden eagle has been used for hunting in the country, and it is considered a symbol of the nation’s nomadic heritage.

Today, the golden eagle is also featured on the emblem of Kazakhstan and represents the country’s unity and resilience.


While the eagle is not as prevalent in other Asian countries as it is in the Philippines and Kazakhstan, it still holds significance in various cultures. For example, in India, the Garuda, a mythical bird-like creature, is often depicted as an eagle and is considered a symbol of divine power and protection.

In Japan, the sea eagle, known as Washi, is associated with strength, courage, and good fortune. These examples highlight the diverse symbolism and cultural significance of the eagle across Asia.


The eagle’s combination of lethal power and noble grace make it the perfect national emblem for countries seeking to convey sovereignty, vision, courage, and other lofty ideals. With origins tracing back millenia in mythology, heraldry, religion, and folklore across cultures, the eagle remains one of the most prominent national symbols in the modern world.

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