Create Capitol Symbols
Watch the video and use the resource below to build your own U.S. Capitol Building model. Take a look, gather your supplies, and let’s create a Capitol-themed craft together.
Symbol: An object that stands for an idea
What is a symbol?
You see and use symbols in your everyday life. For example, a ♥️ means love. A :) means happy. These symbols are messages without words. Two of the most common symbols found at the U.S. Capitol are the eagle and the Union Shield.
When were these symbols chosen?
During the nation’s founding, Congress considered many different animals, colors and shapes to stand for ideas about the United States. At one point, Benjamin Franklin suggested that a turkey be the national bird. Eventually, Congress chose a different North American bird - the bald eagle. In 1782, Congress chose the eagle and the Union Shield for the Great Seal of the United States.
What do these symbols mean?
Eagles are symbols of strength in many countries. In the United States, the eagle also stands for freedom. Shields are objects and symbols of protection. The Union Shield also symbolizes the United States. It has 13 stripes to represent the first 13 states. The blue bar at the top that holds the stripes together symbolizes Congress.
Where are these symbols in the Capitol?
They can be seen all around the building in the art and architecture, including the House and Senate Chambers. The picture above is an illustration of the Old Senate Chamber. Can you find the eagle and shield in the picture?