Why is the bald eagle the official national symbol of the United States?

In 1782, six years after the end of the Revolutionary War, leaders of the newly independent United States were designing a national seal, an image that would appear on official documents and elsewhere. Eventually these men settled on the bald eagle for the Great Seal of the United States. The bald eagle was chosen in part because it was believed to be found only in North America. The bald eagle was also admired for its strength, its noble appearance, and the freedom of its life spent soaring through the sky. While the eagle became an important American symbol when it was adopted for the U.S. seal in 1782, it wasn’t until 1787 that it officially became the national emblem. The bald eagle has been used for the official seals of many states, and it has appeared on stamps, currency (or paper money), and several coins, including the quarter.