3rd piece – Folk belief
Transcript – informant speaking
“The statue Bacon and Eggs, that sits between Stevenson and Darwin halls at SSU as legend tells it that it represents the American flag. The front red and white representing the flag in peace time; the back is black and white representing the flag at war. The blue base holding up the statue symbolizes a star that has fallen from the flag.”
This was a strange one. The informant of this piece goes to Sonoma state and he studies history, which is probably where his concern for the statue stems from. I couldn’t find anything on the internet to confirm this interpretation on the meaning of the statue. So it definitely falls into the folk category (i.e., non institutionalized) mode of knowledge. I might even guess that this folk belief might reside solely with the history department. However, it’s also an interpretation being levied on an existing piece of centralized artwork. This is why folk belief is probably the best catagory for this information, as the folk element comes in with the idea or interpretation, not the object itself.
This story was provided during a zoom call about college legends. It was told in a very straightforward way, but I think the informant might have been trying to embellish a little. They used the cliche phrase “as legend tells,” even though the story is not necessarily a legend. It was clear while talking that they were trying to hype up what they were saying about the statue.
I’m not a big history buff, but what I find interesting about this story is the attempt to localize this form of artwork. If you look at the original statue, it’s literally just a tall piece of bacon. It’s completely absurdist, and objectively, there doesn’t seem to be that much to be made out of it. But here, we seem to have an attempt among the history geeks at the school to make it more relevant to their field of study. Assuming it was built this way, the statue would suddenly grant far greater importance to the history department. In a way, this can be seen as semi self-centered, but also a much needed boost to a frequently overlooked field of study.