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A Real Debate
Franklin suggested a Biblical scene of Moses and Pharaoh. Jefferson suggested a scene of children of Israel and to Anglo-Saxon figures. Adams wanted Hercules. Eventually elements from each of the three committees were combined to create the Great Seal and it included the bald eagle.
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Golden Eagle was Considered
As the Founding Fathers set about determining the national bird but as a new nation made up of former Europeans who saw several other countries use the golden eagle, they gave up the notion.