The Preserve Nevada emblem is an interpretation of two art deco sculptures called the “Winged Figures of the Republic” at Hoover Dam, created by artist Oskar J.W. Hansen. Hansen considered Hoover Dam to be a building genius of the United States, describing the dam as a monument “exerting itself in community efforts around a common need or ideal.” Hansen created the 142-foot flagpole flanked by two winged figures to celebrate the construction of the dam. The winged figures, formed from sand molds, are 30 feet high with shells that contain over 4 tons of statuary bronze. The base is made from black diorite, an igneous rock. In order to place the sculptures on the base without damaging the polished finish, blocks of ice were used to guide the sculptures into place as the ice melted. After the sculptures were in place, a flagpole was dropped into a predrilled hole in the mountain.
According to Hansen, the sculptures represent “the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment.” Hansen described the shape of the sculptures as “an inspirational gesture… that symbolizes the readiness for defense of our institutions and keeping of our spiritual eagles ever ready to be on the wing.”
Besides thinking that the “Winged Figures of the Republic” would look cool as our emblem, it also conveys the mission of Preserve Nevada: to defend our historical heritages through networking, educational outreach and heritage education, and the creation of vibrant communities through preservation incentives and advocacy.
For more information about the statues at Hoover Dam, please refer to the Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation website.