The New National Emblem; The Ostrich

Dexter Wright
As we approach the "fiscal cliff" of punitive taxation and draconian spending cuts it might be time to suggest that Congress consider that we change our National Emblem to the Ostrich.

Shortly after World War II, Churchill and Truman were riding a train to Fulton Missouri to give speeches. Churchill gave his, now famous, "Iron Curtain" speech; and no one can remember what Truman said.  During the train ride Truman was eager to show Winston Churchill the new National emblem that Truman had modified. The eagle no longer looked toward the arrows in the left talon of the eagle but had shifted its gaze toward the olive branch in its right talon. Churchill was quoted as saying that perhaps the head should be on a swivel so that it could look either the right or the left as was needed at the time. Truman was not amused.

Now more than sixty years later it seems that we need a new inspirational emblem as we approach the "fiscal cliff."  Yet, a lack of leadership seems to indicate that neither political party has the will to find a totem to make the hard decisions that loom before us in either spending or taxation. So many politicians either seem confused or scared to the point of paralysis on this impending doom.

The results of the recent election are to blame, some say. The voters left in place a Republican House and a Democrat in the Presidency. The eagle does not know whether to look left or right.  A two headed eagle was the emblem of Tsarist Russia, it looked both ways at the same time but that government did not work out so well.

Given that no one in either party is stepping up to take a stand on the numbers game which we call the budget process, its clear that an eagle is not the right emblem. The head in the sand mentality had taken hold of so many in Washington, so clearly the solution is to adopt the Ostrich as our national emblem. We can't seem to face our fiscal problems at home nor our foreign problems of a nuclear Iran. We would rather pretend that none of these problems exist and just stick our heads in the sand.  So it seems that the Ostrich is perfect for the new national emblem.

However, considering that we are rushing toward the fiscal cliff with speed and enthusiasm, perhaps we should consider the lemming as a notional emblem as well. 


As we approach the "fiscal cliff" of punitive taxation and draconian spending cuts it might be time to suggest that Congress consider that we change our National Emblem to the Ostrich.

Shortly after World War II, Churchill and Truman were riding a train to Fulton Missouri to give speeches. Churchill gave his, now famous, "Iron Curtain" speech; and no one can remember what Truman said.  During the train ride Truman was eager to show Winston Churchill the new National emblem that Truman had modified. The eagle no longer looked toward the arrows in the left talon of the eagle but had shifted its gaze toward the olive branch in its right talon. Churchill was quoted as saying that perhaps the head should be on a swivel so that it could look either the right or the left as was needed at the time. Truman was not amused.

Now more than sixty years later it seems that we need a new inspirational emblem as we approach the "fiscal cliff."  Yet, a lack of leadership seems to indicate that neither political party has the will to find a totem to make the hard decisions that loom before us in either spending or taxation. So many politicians either seem confused or scared to the point of paralysis on this impending doom.

The results of the recent election are to blame, some say. The voters left in place a Republican House and a Democrat in the Presidency. The eagle does not know whether to look left or right.  A two headed eagle was the emblem of Tsarist Russia, it looked both ways at the same time but that government did not work out so well.

Given that no one in either party is stepping up to take a stand on the numbers game which we call the budget process, its clear that an eagle is not the right emblem. The head in the sand mentality had taken hold of so many in Washington, so clearly the solution is to adopt the Ostrich as our national emblem. We can't seem to face our fiscal problems at home nor our foreign problems of a nuclear Iran. We would rather pretend that none of these problems exist and just stick our heads in the sand.  So it seems that the Ostrich is perfect for the new national emblem.

However, considering that we are rushing toward the fiscal cliff with speed and enthusiasm, perhaps we should consider the lemming as a notional emblem as well.