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What Symbols Represent America?

 What Symbols Represent America?

I was returning home from Vancouver via the U.S. Border Crossing in Washington State and encountered this sign. Iconic American landmarks welcomed our return home:

  • The U.S. Flag
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • The U.S. Capitol Building
  • Mount Rushmore
  • The Golden Gate Bridge
  • The Seattle Space Needle

While waiting for the endless queue to advance, I contemplated this sign for a bit. I suppose it’s because I do so much international travel, I don’t ever think about U.S. Travel. France has the Eiffel Tower, Australia the Opera House and Uluru, Egypt the Pyramids and the list goes on and on. But what represents America?

The Statue of Liberty for sure. But what about the St. Louis Arch? The Hollywood Sign? Independence Hall? The Grand Canyon? What is America to the outsider? What symbols do they associate with our country?

Somewhere in there, there is a philosophical message. Perhaps to better understand ourselves, we should think about what others see in us. Maybe? That’s a conversation for another day. Until then…

What other symbols do you think represent the United States? Do you agree with what was depicted on this sign? Share by commenting.

I’ll see you out there…!



I always think of neglected gas stations on desert roads and suburbs with white picket fences and discreet murderers…;)


That is so devious. What about abandoned carnivals?


Totally agree about DisneyWorld… and now people are coming for the Harry Potter World too…


I’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. #Proudofthat

Jozef @ Where Now

I’m going for Times Square and Nasa!


2 Votes for Times Square. Right on. NASA, hmmmmm. The last shuttle is in a few weeks. I wonder if it will have the same clout?

Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista

There are a lot of things that are American, like apple pie, but I think the best representation would be the Statue of Liberty. It is so USA and people would recognize it just like the Eiffel Tower.


Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is very recognizable, though so is Mickey, lol.

The World of Deej

Disney has already been mentioned, so I’m gonna go with The Empire State Building and perhaps Times Square.


I like the Empire State Building. How would you represent time square? Neon lights?

The Travel Chica

I am similar to you in that I really don’t think much about what represents the US to outsiders.

Definitely agree with adding Mickey Mouse to the list.

After my travels in Latin America, I can no longer say hotdogs are a traditional US food. “Panchos” are everywhere here!


Panchos? What does L.A. put on them?

Jeremy Branham

A few ideas on this one – for one, baseball is on my mind a lot lately (you will see why in a few days). However, many people outside of the US don’t care. I think I have to go with the US flag. While there are a number of symbols in this country, nothing unites people or drives a wedge that the flag. Many people around the world see it and dislike us or out government. In the US, it brings a sense of pride and patriotism which evokes many feelings and memories.

I don’t have the same association or feelings with the rest of the things on the list. I think it has to be the flag.


I think that’s fair to say of any country. The flag is always the uniting symbol. Everything else is meaningless – but the flag is the most emotional.

eva hamori

Hotdogs and baseball. We have them too here in Canada, but we know who made them famous!


Hotdogs and Baseball. I like it. Have you ever had a Portillo’s Hot Dog? They are the best.


The Liberty Bell!


Oh, I forgot all about that one! The Liberty Bell is a great suggestion.

Michael Figueiredo

I think all of the things you mentioned, plus the images on that sign–except for the Seattle Space Needle. That seems like it was thrown in there because it is the border crossing with Washington state. I don’t think most of the country (or world for that matter) even knows about it!


True. the Space Needle was a bit of a sell-out.


No joke — Mickey Mouse and Disney World is what a lot of travelers from outside the US associate with our country.


I wasn’t going to say it, but yes. Mickey Mouse is definitely American.

Caanan @ No Vacation Required

Well maintained sidewalks, zoning laws and building codes. I think our traveling friends know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.


The Bean in Chicago!!
The Green Monster too!


The Bean? You mean the silver cloud?
The Green Monster – geesh Kim, you can tell you’re from Bawston.