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The 'Flower Power' Famous Image and Hippies Movement

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The “Flower Power” famous historical image represents peace and protests towards the vietnam war in 1967. In the photograph a woman is holding a flower in front of a solders rifle protesting against the war showing that the flower symbolizes freedom and peace from the war. The 1960 had an empowering role in womans nature. Woman started to backlash towards the original gender roles, they started wearing “flashy” clothes. During this time deep cultural changes were happening with woman it wasn’t allowed for woman to do certain things that would be normal to us in this generation. They were seen more as “weak” back then mostly known for being house wifes. This shows how big of a deal it was for a girl to stand up to a man like that back then. The woman were considered hippies and were all about equality and peace. The point they wanted to get across wasn’t just for peace but for womans rights and for mean and woman to be treated the same. It was a big movement for them to have stood infront of a man holding a rifle with a flower, the girl in the image risked a lot doing this.

The photographer of this image Bernie Boston was born May , 18, 1933 mid great depression. He originally took the image and was nor recognized for it. No one looked at the deeper meaning of the image and passed the offer of buying the image off of him away. He then published it and later started getting recognition people started realizing how strong the meaning of this image is. The image showed empowerment and showed how there was still faith that needed to be kept and cherished. Bernie grew up in Mclean Virginia, he found out his passion for photography when he was in high school. He was involved in the school yearbook and newspaper and learnt from then that, that is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life after taking those high school classes that made him realize his passion for photography.

Bernie then went on to college and graduated from Rochester institute of technology with a degree in photography. Then in 1955 he decided to serve the country and he joined the military for three years. He then left the military and quit his services and moved onto Daytown Daily News in Ohio in 1963 and then upgraded three years later to staff of the Washington Star which is where he was working while he took the “flower power” image . While working with Washington Star he was a director of photography when the news paper folded in 1981. After that he went onto los angeles times to establish a photo operation in the nations capital. Bernie was then involved in the big photography jobs one including taking presidents pictures. Boston went on and took pictures of the civil rights movement one including the poor peoples campaign photographying a portrait of Martin Luther king he also took other photographs of him in other notible events.

The date October 22,1967 was when he took the famous “flower power” image, Boston was already noticed for his incredible skills but this image is what brought him to where he stands today showing his incredible talents. This image is what brought Boston’s career up and made him recognizable. Boston then won many awards in 1987 he wan the pulitzer prize for breaking News photography, then 1993 came along and he won the Joseph A. Sprague memorial Awars form the national press photographers association(their highest honor), and lastly he was inducted into the hall of fame of sigma delta chi, the society of prefessional journalist.

In 1994 Boston and his wife moved to Basye, Virginia where he published and edited the Bryce mountain Courier. His amazing aestheticly pleasing pictures made him known for his talent I capturing images and makes Boston a part of history. Boston took advantage of his knowledge and used it to help him use his equipment. In an age of film, he knew chemistry as well as the capabilities of his lenses. He believe that dressing nice for him it meant suit and tie was always manditory he believed that the best way to blend in is in the fancy attire. Boston devistatingly passed away in his home in Basye, Virginia on January 22, 2008 of amyloidosis.

Peoples reactions were diffrent for everyone. The people who were for the war showed a lot of hate towards the image and threatened violence towards the Berkley protest but people who were not for the war seemed to enjoy the image. The image was a supposed to show a purpose. It is a non violence free zone picture where it is showing that violence is never the answer. The lady who is in this image seems to be very confident in what she is doing. She is confident to shows that us woman were not scared of anyone and us woman will stand up for what we believed in back in the day .Just how we are now sadly enough we has to fight for our equality that gender should not matter when it comes to mascunality.

During this time the drug LSD was becoming very popular. It is said that the drug is supposed to open your mind into the real world and let you see your true self. Once people started to take this drug they opened their eyes to everything and realized that the war is pointless and violence is pointless. A lot of people blamed the drug trying to make it seem like the protestors are just hippies who do drugs and are out of it. In my own personal opinion I believe that the drug helped them find themselves and peace and that is why most of them protested towards the war. The people in the image are fighting for freedom towards themselves. They want to live thir life without fear and they want the people to unite and make peace.

The woman in the picture Jan Rose Kasmir was very honored to be in such a powerful image. Jan was a seventeen year old high school student. She explains how she at first thought she was going up against some bad monsters but in reality they were just boys fighting for what they believed in. “If you look into my face I’m extremely sad. They were just as much victims as we were”. This is showing how Kasmir realized that we were all human and we all have our own opinions. She noticed that we were all not at fault and that we all have our own thoughts but at the end of the day we all hoped to be okay and stable. She showed the world how being happy is what life is about we challenge our selfs to be at the very best of success but the only reason we want to be at success is so we feel happy and that was what we all really want is to be happy

Bernie captured this image by using patience, he placed his camera on the rock wall while everyone was protesting and waited for the perfect moment to capture the powerful image. The hippies back in the day embraced their power of peace and they started showing that by wearing vibrant colors that represents peace and they wore flowers in their hair and they carried around flowers. This is what started the “flower children” trend where they started being recognized by calling them that. The term later evolved to the hippie movement they were known for taking drugs, being really into music and art. As you may know this image was taken during a protest the “flower children” were the main part of the protest they passed out many flowers to people before the protest had started. The flower was used to turn this whole bad situation into a better environment it was meant to reduce anger and fear.

The hippies also passed out balloons as a form of peace showing that we are civil. They spread out from California to other parts of the united states by the end of 1966. The lady who organized the event was called Abbie Hoffman, she made this event to honor our solders. The “flower power” image even happened in New York City 1967 at the pentagon. The hippies never meant any harm they wanted to spread love they had carried pink posters that say love on it trying to show their appreciation for their solders but also sending out a message to spread love not war.

All of the anti war protestors became very known during the 1960’s they were on the time magazine cover the story was called “The Hippies: philosophy of a Subculture”. Then they came out on tv on a news television report on CBS the report was called “Hippie Temptation”. The flower power movement quickly went across the country and around the war. The flowers in the image are supposed to symbolize pureness and harmless behavior, the hippies were trying to prove a point that they are trusting and that they mean no harm. The flowers are so weak compared to the guns but they represent the same amount of power as the rifle has. Some people portrayed this image as “disrespectful” to the solders but mostly it wasn’t meant to show any type of disrespect it was meant to spread love and show the power of the pureness of flowers. The hippies saw the war as an evil, heartless event that didn’t have to happen it could be stopped if everyone saw the love they saw.

The whole purpose of the protest was the “make love no war” saying and the idea of love and nonviolence showing the idea of growth. The image is showing a strong was of how conflict should be handled, the use of guns contradicts the use of flowers. Guns are built for violence which contradicts the flowers because the flowers are made to enjoy their beauty, the comparison between them is very big they are complete opposites which is why it makes such a perfect image. In the image It seems as if the guard is taking the flower out of the rifle with shows that there is tension between the gunman and the protestor. The gun man looked very uneasy while the protestor looked at peace and comfortable.

This image is a very strong meaningful image it has a very sensitive meaning to it. The vietnam war was something that actually got to many people especially the hippies. They wanted to be safe and not have to worry about loved ones dying. The image was very famous but sadly didn’t make much of an impact since the war lasted till the 1970’s but it sent out a message to the solders and everyone else involved in the war. This reperesents hope for humanity and shows that we could stop war with love.



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The ‘Flower Power’ Famous Image And Hippies Movement. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
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