Don Balke (B. 1933) "Bald Eagle" Signed lower left. Original Watercolor.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was published on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the U.S. 29c Eagle Self-adhesive stamp issued February 4, 1994.
When Congress selected the Bald Eagle as America's national symbol on June 20, 1782, Ben Franklin voiced his opposition, suggesting the turkey would be more fitting. Further evidence of Franklin's displeasure was documented in a letter to his daughter Sarah. In it he referred to the Eagle as "a bird of bad moral character" and "a rank coward." However, ornithologists refute Franklin's claims about the national symbol's cowardice. Furthermore, its moral character seems to be beyond reproach. It is believed that Bald Eagles mate for life and may live together for more than 20 years, returning to the same breeding site year after year to improve upon their nest. After 200 years of serving as America's symbol, the Eagle was even awarded its own day of recognition. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed June 20th Bald Eagle Day. This handsome bird also acts as the symbol of the U.S. Postal Service and has appeared on a number of American postage stamps throughout the years. Frequently portrayed on airmail stamps, the Eagle has been depicted in flight, in silhouette and as part of the Great Seal of the United States.
Image Size: 12.25 x 13.75 in.
Overall Size: 20.25 x 23 in.
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