Eagle emblem - what do these three stars mean?

This eagle stenciled emblem is on the bulkhead in our kitchen, over the window. We’re wondering what exactly it represents. Why would it only have three stars above it? Lack of space for the other stars or does it actually mean something? I’ve found similar eagle emblems on lots of things but they all have thirteen (or more) stars.

It was there when we moved in and I plan to paint over it. Unless it’s Masonic code for “all the gold is hidden here”.

WAG, but perhaps there used to be 3 arrows, 3 stars, and 7 leaves (for a total of 13.)

Alternately, there might have been five stars on either side that have been rubbed away.

Thanks Sage Rat. Where the middle of the eagle has rubbed away it’s impossible to tell there was (likely) something there originally so you may be right, there may have been stars on either side at one point that have just rubbed off.

Everything I’ve googled shows that the number of arrows, wheat, branches of whatever, stars around the eagle, etc., generally mean something. It may be a case of the person who used to live here just liked the design and didn’t have room for the rest of the stars (I’m assuming it was the elderly man who lived here three sales ago but he’s since died so I can’t ask him) or as you say they may have just rubbed off.

It’s odd because it’s obviously an American-related thing and I live in Northern Ontario. The man who owned the house from the time it was built and all subsequent owners were Northern Ontario residents originally as well. That’s part of the reason we thought perhaps the particular design meant something specific.

Does anyone know what the branch is the eagle is carrying is supposed to be?

This is what Wikipedia has to say:

[

](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_seal)

Right! Olive branch! Thank you. I can’t believe I forgot that.

Everything I’ve found talks about the 13 original states being represented by the 13 arrows or 13 stars as well.

It’s our lucky number. :wink:

I have an old match box with an eagle holding three arrows in one talon, an olive branch with seven leaves in the other (the one it is facing) and three stars above its head, much like the one mentioned. Do you have anymore information on this sort of symbol? When it was used and for any specific purposes?

Is there a company name anywhere on the matchbox that can be traced?

Hi just wondering if you had any more input on when this image is from. I just purchased a very old gavel at an estate sale and it has this image on it

3 stars for the 3 branches of government? Judicial, Legislative, Executive.

They can’t explain the Senate Seal’s three ladies.
Something along the lines of truth justice and the america oh thats Superman.

It might even represent officer rank in the army.
It might represent General Lee’s “Colonel” insignia.

In my opinion, it means that the artist thought 13 stars and 13 arrows would look too cluttered, and that 3 would convey the essence, while looking prettier.

Seven paces north, 3 paces east, start digging … the Illuminati will find you

There are conceivable symbolic reasons for there to be three stars (some old Filipino army insignia follow this motif, with an eagle displayed, three arrows in the sinister talon and three stars between its wings) but the decal in the OP appears to be a Meyercord X547, perhaps an X547-A, c.f. this example from Etsy.

Even in the original format, with the 8 (+1) stars beneath there are only 12 stars total, so I’d be inclined to agree with mbh that the symbolism is “American kitsch” and the purpose of the stars is simply to be American enough. I found a glass bottle done similarly for sale, dated 1887, so others have apparently taken this shortcut before and it wouldn’t surprise me if NHNative’s gavel was of the same vein.