The tombstone of Huey Long on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse is engraved with depictions of his achievements as a politician. On the front, however, is a large Pegasus. Was the Pegasus a symbol related to Long during his life, symbolic of something about him, or is it purely decorative?

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    From the little bit of research I've done, there does seem to be some kind of association. I haven't yet been able to figure out the source though. – T.E.D. Jun 2 '15 at 11:47

There is no special significance to the choice of engravings other than the artistic sense of the sculptor, Charles Keck. Pegasus is the symbol of apotheosis. The martyr-like death of Long may have inspired the choice of symbology. Also, note that a giant Pegasus was installed on top of the Magnolia Building in Dallas in 1934 (the headquarters of Mobile Oil) and dominated the skyline of the city.

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  • "He (Long) used his position on the Commission to enhance his populist reputation as an opponent of large oil and utility companies, fighting against rate increases and pipeline monopolies." ... Long spend all of his political career fighting against "Big Oil", it's unlikely that the addition of the Pegasus on his stone was anything at all related to Mobile Oils icon, except maybe ironically. Maybe if the artist put an arrow through it... – CGCampbell Aug 26 '15 at 17:20
  • @CGCampbell As a sculptor, Keck may very well have been aware of the Magnolia Pegasus, and if he travelled to Dallas in 1935-1940 he definitely would have seen it. This could have given him the idea for the relief. Keck may not have even known (or cared) what the Magnolia building was. – Tyler Durden Aug 26 '15 at 18:13

The Pegasus is not a creature to be invoked without intent for its mythological significance to be added to whatever symbol it is on. The Pegasus, on a general level without getting into specific myths, is a steed for heroes- a gift from the gods to help noble men do right. In this use of Pegasus, the horse is wrapped around the banner "share our wealth," an iconic phrasing of Long's political philosophy. The Pegasus helps to portray Long as hero, with a "divine"(virtuous) mission.

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  • Partially conjecture, but I will up-vote anyways. – Pieter Geerkens Aug 26 '15 at 4:13
  • I recognize that but I didn't think there could be anything better than conjecture for that question. Thank you – SophArch Aug 26 '15 at 4:14

The Pegasus on Huey Long's tombstone is a symbolic autobiography of himself.

If we can set aside mythology, and look to the more obvious, Pegasus was truly a horse of a different color. After all, a white horse (genetically speaking) is a very rare breed. That is how this powerhouse of a man saw himself, a very rare individual.

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    It would help to have some sources: without them, it looks like a guess. – o0'. Jun 4 '15 at 12:57
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    White horses aren't that rare. People breed as many as they can, but they are listed as grey. In any case, the importance of colour has to be way below a horse having wings. – Zither13 Jun 11 '15 at 8:50

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