The Society of the Cincinnati’s Eagle insignia has been the most recognizable symbol of the organization and its members for more than two hundred years. Designed in 1783 by Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, the double-sided gold insignia bears scenes of the Society’s namesake, Cincinnatus, on the breast of an American bald eagle, and is suspended from a light blue-and-white ribbon representing the French-American alliance that helped to win the Revolutionary War. The Eagle was first made in France in 1784, when L’Enfant oversaw the creation of more than 250 insignias for both American and French members. Deputy Director and Curator Emily Parsons discusses the symbolism and early history of the Society Eagle with two examples of the first French-made Eagles, owned by French army officer the comte de Lauberdière and Continental Army officer Tench Tilghman.
Early French Eagle Insignias of the Society of the Cincinnati
Deputy Director and Curator
May 13, 2023