By Addie McCabe

WASHINGTON D.C. (KTTC) – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Tina Smith (DFL-MN), along with Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Markwayne (R-OK), introduced bipartisan legislation to designate the bald eagle as the National Bird of the United States.

This legislation was announced on the same day the Great Seal of the United States was approved, 242 years ago.

“The bald eagle is a symbol of our country’s freedom and strength. In Minnesota, we are proud to call ourselves home to one of the largest populations of bald eagles in the country as well as the National Eagle Center in Wabasha,” Klobuchar said. “My bipartisan legislation will officially designate the bald eagle as our country’s National Bird.”

“The Bald Eagle has been a universally recognizable symbol of patriotism in this country for centuries, and they thrive in Minnesota because of our abundant lakes and forestry across North Country,” Smith said. “I’m proud to support this legislation designating the Bald Eagle as the official bird of the United States under federal law.”

Since June 20, 1782, when the Founding Fathers approved the Great Seal, the bald eagle has been depicted as the national symbol. Since then, the bald eagle has made appearances on official documents, currency, flags, public buildings, sports teams and other government-related items.

”Since the founding of our nation, the bald eagle has existed as a symbol of our country’s independence, strength, and freedom. Prominently displayed on our official currency, military uniforms, and our government buildings, the bald eagle stands as the undisputed representative of the United States of America,” Finstad said. “I am proud to work alongside the National Eagle Center in Wabasha to introduce this legislation which will officially classify the bald eagle as the national bird – its proper place of honor as an integral part of our national identity.”

Companion legislation is being introduced in the House of Representatives by Minnesota Representatives Brad Finstad (R-MN), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) and Pete Stauber (R-MN).