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Commentary on "On Guard"



The Bald Eagle in this painting represents the strength and vigilance of the United States and the fundamental ideas of freedom and opportunity.  The eagle chicks represent innocence, more specifically every man, woman, and child who seek to live a life of freedom in which they have the inherent right to choose how they will live. The Viper is a classic symbol of evil. Here it represents the people and groups in this world that seek to attack or oppress the innocent. 





    “It is said the eagle was used as a national emblem because, at one of the first battles of the Revolution the noise of the struggle awoke the sleeping eagles on the heights and they flew from their nests and circled about over the heads of the fighting men, all the while giving vent to their raucous cries. "They are shrieking for Freedom," said the patriots.


    Thus the eagle, full of the boundless spirit of freedom, living above the valleys, strong and powerful in his might, has become the national emblem of a country that offers freedom in word and thought and an opportunity for a full and free expansion into the boundless space of the future.”

-Maude M. Grant


    Escalera was a patriot who loved his country. He worked hard to come to America legally and make a life for himself in the land of opportunity. Escalera was a Mexican immigrant who came to the United States looking for the opportunity to work for a better life. Escalera’s life was by no means a story of “rags to riches” in the sense of monetary value, but in quality of life. In many ways Escalera represented the American dream. After becoming a US citizen Escalera worked as a common dishwasher, eventually he worked his way to becoming a private business owner. 


    When Escalera was commissioned to create this Oil Painting he wanted to capture how he saw America, the country that gave him his opportunity… fierce protector of human rights and dignity. 

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