“A few years after I started painting the Blue Dog, a local politician in Lafayette asked me if I knew about the Blue Dog Democrats in Louisiana. I said “no,” and he recounted his version of the origin. We had no Republican party since the Civil War. All early Louisiana primaries were Democratic, but those included many factions, including New Orleans, Cajun country, North Louisiana and the African-American population. These groups were divided by ideology, some more conservative than others, but all within the Democratic Party.
“At some point, the more liberal side became Yellow Dog Democrats and the more conservative side, Blue Dog Democrats. When I first heard this story in the early 1990s, the Republican party had a foothold in Louisiana. The old terms were outdated. I wasn’t aware of the Blue Dog Democrats in modern times until U.S. Congressman Jimmy Hayes of Lafayette, Louisiana pushed this term once again to the forefront, renaming the ‘Boll Weevil’ Democrats the ‘Blue Dogs.’
“Without my permission they adopted my image. As usually happens with hometown folk, they assumed that they were doing me a favor. Instead I’ve spent the past twenty years trying to distance myself and my artwork from this connection.” – George Rodrigue