Our country's official emblems would look plain ridiculous, to be quite honest.
If Ben Franklin had gotten his way on suggesting that the turkey be used as America's symbol of freedom, you can bet the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, our armed forces, and all-around 'Murican culture would take on a different look that wouldn't exactly be intimidating in the face of tyranny. Picture it: instead of the 101st Airborne Division's Screaming Eagles, you'd have the Gobbling Turkeys, and don't even get me started on how awful the Marine Corps' emblem would look.
“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.....I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
— Ben Franklin in a letter to his daughter, Sarah, dated January 26, 1784
It also begs the question as to what we'd be eating at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Would it be a roasted bald eagle? What would the gravy taste like? Would the Thanksgiving Day football game include the Philadelphia Gobblers? I have so many questions!
For visualization's sake, we here at OCN decided to have some fun with photoshop and give you a glimpse of what would happen if the turkey were used as the symbol of all the freedoms we hold dear:
To be fair, this one actually is pretty cool, and I'm sure all the Virginia Tech fans reading this are loving it.
Having this as a national emblem is how not to be taken seriously by foreign countries.
And because we love our #Murica tattoos, let's see how a turkey would look if that were considered patriotic ink:
Significantly less bad-ass.
I think it's safe to say that we're all better off with the majestic bald eagle, don't you?
Sorry, Ben, we're better off with the eagle.