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Public Art

Liberty is Not License

By Sacha Schnittman
Category: Sculpture


Officially known as the American Legion Founding Commemorative Monument, the sculptured granite pylon was commissioned by the Monument Builders of America to commemorate the founding of the American Legion. The sculptor, calling it The Search for Eternal Peace, depicted a kneeling figure of a man with his head raised head and his hands resting on the shaft of a sword. On the reverse side is a stylized eagle, with an upward swing of wings that suggest beauty and majesty. Suspended from the eagle’s talons is the medallion of the American Legion. Atop the shaft is the eternal “Flame of Freedom.”

The monument was very controversial and did not receive the approval of The Municipal Arts Commission because it seemed to be a “too modern conception.” The work was banned from Memorial Plaza and remained in storage until it was moved to its current location west of 14th Street between Pine and Chestnut.

Dimensions: 24′ x 8′ x 8′
Year Completed: 1942
Material: Limestone and bronze
Owner: City of St. Louis
Donor: Monument Builders of America/American Legion

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