Flag eagle of the 6th Regiment of Chasseurs à Cheval © Fondation Napoléon
The Eagle : symbol of the Empire
The eagle is certainly the most famous Napoleonic symbol. Why was it chosen by Napoleon?
In 1804, when Napoleon the 1st was proclaimed Emperor of the French, he was keen to define the emblems that would mark his reign. His advisors suggested the rooster, the eagle, the lion and the elephant (the strongest of the animals), but also the bees or the oak tree. Napoleon chose the eagle, the bird of Jupiter, emblem of imperial Rome and Charlemagne. This animal remains deeply attached to the image of the Emperor.