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Unpatriotic? This Viral Photo Is Stirring a National Debate


What’s so offensive about a sailor holding a baby cradled in an American flag? I’m not sure, but it’s causing gnashing of teeth among some red-blooded Americans.

Vanessa Hicks shot the photo of Baby Landon, who was eight days old when she snapped various images of the newborn with his mother and with the American flag. But the image of his father, a member of the U.S. Navy, suspending the baby in an American flag has caused critics of an especially vile nature to attack Hicks.

“It was in their opinion I had disrespected our nation’s flag. I had disrespected our country by taking this picture. Several of these people not only bashed the picture, but me, saying I should be ashamed of myself, my husband should be ashamed, etc. and I received several private messages to my business page,” Hicks, who is married to a sailor, wrote on Facebook. “They even took it a step farther and bashed the service member in the picture, hoping he gets in trouble for participating in desecration of the flag.”

Hicks says she almost let the “cyber bullies” get to her. She considered deleting the photo, but then she realized she’d be giving them the victory. Instead, she went to the group and stood up to them—she stood up for what she believed in. And she’s receiving plenty of support from around the nation.

Hicks is making rounds for her photo—and the varied reactions to it. ABC, Fox and Friends, Good Morning America, and CNN are telling her story. As a result, Hicks is being barraged with requests for photo shoots. She plans to give 15 percent of all profits from those shoots to the United Services Organization.

Even Still, Hicks is getting attacked even while the image is being celebrated from coast to coast. What do you think? Is this photo unpatriotic, as so many claim? Does it speak a thousand words about the commitment of our Armed Forces? What does it say to you?


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