In many native cultures, the golden eagle was known as the “war eagle” and was associated with warriors and courage in battle. Solomon McCombs was born in Oklahoma. He studied art at Bacone College. In 1941, his work was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. McCombs worked as a muralist for the U.S. Treasury Section of Fine Arts in 1942 and as an illustrator for the United States Department of State from 1956 until 1973. In 1965, McCombs won the Waite Phillips Trophy for Outstanding Contributions to American Indian Art, presented by the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. McCombs was elected Second Chief by the Creek Nation in 1978.