Story Behind Flower Power

Why was that nice gentle boy putting flowers inside the barrels of M-16 semi automatic weapons?? Flower Power is an historic photograph taken by American photographer Bernie Boston for the now-defunct Washington Star newspaper. It was nominated for the 1967 Pulitzer Prize. Taken on October 21, 1967, during a march to the Pentagon, the iconic photo shows a young, long-haired Vietnam protestor in a turtleneck sweater, placing carnations into the barrel of a rifle of a National Guardsman.

When the antiwar demonstrators approached The Pentagon, Boston was sitting on top of a wall of the Mall Entrance when he saw a lieutenant march a squad of guardsmen into the crowd of demonstrators. The squad then formed a semicircle around the demonstrators, the young man in the photo emerged from the crowd and started placing carnations in the rifles. Boston took it as an opportunity to capture the moment, seeing that “everything came together” and he had a good angle sitting on top of the wall.

When Boston showed the photograph to his editor at the Washington Star, he “didn’t see the importance of the picture” so it was put aside. Instead, Boston started entering it in photography competitions, where it earned its recognition.

17 Comments

  1. Joey Schwartz on October 11, 2019 at 12:50 am

    This was from the 1987 Granada TV film _It Was Twenty Years Ago Today_, which was a documentary about The Beatles’ _Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band_ and its times. The full segment is about  six minutes long, and includes the back story of the organizing of the event. Basically, the east New Yorkers, such as Abbie Hoffman, were into a media event, while the San Franciscans were into a "Life Style Project" and actually wanted to make the Pentagon "levitate." The West coast was represented in the film by Keith Lampe, a Korean War vet that went by the name "Pondorosa Pines."

  2. Pedro Lopes on October 11, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Still prefer the Watchmen version of this

  3. Pupper {your boss} on October 11, 2019 at 1:01 am

    I love how they just let them do that 🤣

  4. Canon Isaacs on October 11, 2019 at 1:02 am

    35:00 Mark Twain??

  5. protectbodythetans on October 11, 2019 at 1:03 am

    This was the best gen in my opinion.

  6. Grady L. on October 11, 2019 at 1:05 am

    This dude called someone else a nut?

  7. Leon on October 11, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Fuck you baby boomers, you pieces of shit.

  8. what am i on October 11, 2019 at 1:15 am

    It’s too bad we remember the man putting the flower in but it was actually a woman who did it first

  9. Dube Za on October 11, 2019 at 1:16 am

    “I’m ganna sow up your sphincter with 12 troll teeth” 🤣

  10. M.V.P on October 11, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Is this footage royalty free?

  11. David Baugh on October 11, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I was one of those MPs and those were M14 and were not set for automatic. Also I guess I can tell this without getting into trouble after all these years. None of us had any ammunition. That’s right not a single round. Also one other correction. We were not national guardsmen. We were members of the 503 MP Battalion out of Fort Bragg, NC who had undergone months and months of training just for this demonstration at the Pentagon. No one was hurt bad and no one was killed. Thank God.

  12. semper lacrimare on October 11, 2019 at 1:29 am

    "m-16" *shows m14*

  13. Bill Jones on October 11, 2019 at 1:38 am

    It’s funny, so funny the pain is still there/here in me after all those years. Today is July 4, 2019. I was with the 6th Armored Calv. from Ft. Meade, Md. My job was 63B20. Wheeled vehicle mechanic, but at the Pentagon my job was an RTO.Radio Telephone Operator. My platoon officer told me to write down everything that came over the radio. In high school I took a short hand class…..that’s where the girls were. There were times listening to the net that I could not keep up with cursive writing, so, some shorthand found its way in.

    This was summer, 1967, I was a PFC and 19 years old. A sergeant came to me and wanted me on a detail, and wanted me to give my radio to another person. I radioed my LT. what was going on. He came right over. He wanted to see what was going on and my see my note pad. When he saw the scribble of the shot hand he went ballistic and asked what the hell is this? So, I explained it was short hand and read it back o him. LT then told the sergeant to get lost and leave me alone.

    During that time I got very little sleep. There was a lot that went on that did not make the news. The first person to place flowers in the gun barrels was a young blond girl in a sun dress. With every flower in the barrel, she would show her tits. I followed her and a federal Marshall down the line. This Marshall wore a white steel helmet without a helmet liner. He was the biggest black man I have ever seen. He seemed like a cool guy, until he reached over and smashed that young girl in the face with a small baseball bat. Her har was blond, her sun dress was white. With that single blow everything went red. Her and i made eye contact as she was dragged away on her back by her hair. Even after 52 years I still have that memory clear as a bell in my minds eye.

    There is a lot to this event in my life. Today watching the left spin on the news, I can see another bloody conflict coming that we will also loose. Everything after WWll has been a loss. Korea, Viet Nam , the Middle East ……all a loosing event of our countries most precious resource, and that’s our young men and women going into battle and not being able to win. How hard is it to figure out that winning saves lives? The politicians send us in, and tie our hands so we can’t win…..for what? I am so proud of any person who served our country even in the smallest capacity, except the politicians.

  14. Marloツ on October 11, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Homer Simpson Brought me here

  15. 8sianDude on October 11, 2019 at 1:43 am

    How does one confuse a M14 with a M16? 🤔

  16. Ale Pavlova on October 11, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Put the whole stuff,please.

  17. sheri solomon on October 11, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Thank you …. Thank you … Thank you …

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