Maybe it’s the trapped-but-still-majestic look on its face. A photo of America’s national bird caught in the grille of a car in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew appeared online Saturday, and the memes took off on eagle’s wings.

Florida’s Clay County Sheriff’s Office posted numerous photos of the incident to its Facebook page. “A citizen had a bald eagle fly in front of his vehicle and the bird became lodged in the grill of the vehicle,” the sheriff’s department wrote alongside the photos. “Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Clay Fire Rescue personnel responded and rescued the eagle from the grill. The bird is alive and was turned over to the B.E.A.K.S. Wildlife Sanctuary. Great Job by all involved.”

The eagle’s story had a happy ending, but its symbolic importance had the meme makers out in force on social media, finding plenty of metaphors about freedom and America’s current political climate.

Some felt the eagle meme was just too uncomfortable.

But others found that, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “hope is the thing with feathers.”

B.E.A.K.S., the bird sanctuary that helped out with the eagle, posted a video to Facebook saying the bird had been named “Matthew,” and would be held for observation before being released.


Bald eagle trapped in car grille inspires all of internet – CNET