The winged disk symbol is found throughout Egypt. It appears in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions and on the royal seals and cartouches of Egyptian pharaohs. This ancient Egyptian religious symbol is found carved onto obelisks, the capstones of pyramids, and alabaster bas-reliefs and is painted onto fading ancient wall murals. The winged sun disk symbol graces the stone lintels of the entrances to a great many temples and palaces in Egypt. Numerous Egyptian pharaohs employed this ubiquitous religious symbol of their sun gods as a royal sign of their divinely ordained status.
I have collected considerable evidence which supports E. Walter Maunder's theory that the ancient Egyptian "winged solar disk" symbol was, in all probability, inspired by ancient observations of total solar eclipses. During some total solar eclipses the condensed equatorial streamers of the sun's corona stretching out on either side of the "black sun" formed by the occulting disk of the moon bear a striking resemblance to the outspread wings of a glorious celestial bird. At the same time the plume-like polar rays distinctly resemble the fanned-out tail-feathers of a gigantic cosmic bird. This wing-like appearance of the streamers of the sun's corona was first remarked upon by eclipse observers in the latter half of the 19th century and it quickly became fashionable amongst astronomers to refer to the sun's coronal streamers as "wings".
The above composite image of the July 11, 1991 total solar eclipse was created by Steve Albers.
For much more detailed information about how the ancient Egyptian winged disk symbol, the Egyptian's venerated solar falcon god Horus, the bennu bird or Phoenix, and other mythical "SunBirds" were all inspired by the remarkable "SunBird" that is manifested during some total solar eclipses please see my 'Pedigree of the Phoenix' "Web Sight" which also reveals how the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, as well as many other ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians, Hittites and Assyrians, developed very similar religious beliefs and practices, and religious iconography, as a direct result of seeing the radiant "Bird of the Sun" that is spectacularly manifested in the heavens above our planet as day turns to night during a total eclipse of the sun. . .
Photo courtesy of The Egypt Archive of Jon Bodsworth.
This modern composite image of the Sun during the June 21, 2001 total solar eclipse helps to reveal how total solar eclipses clearly inspired the winged Sun disk religious symbol of ancient Egypt which is a much more ancient composite image of the Sun.