#Flagbaby image sparks public debate

#Flagbaby image sparks public debate

(WVUE) - A Virginia photographer is taking heat over a photo of a baby being cradled in the American Flag, starting a public debate over whether the image is patriotic or disrespectful.

Vanessa Hicks said she was approached by the baby's parents, who both have ties to the military and wanted their infant boy to be photographed in a way that paid homage to their service.

The parents said a Pinterest search was the inspiration behind the flag idea, and Hicks obliged, later posting her work on her

. The image shows the baby sleeping in the flag being held by his father in uniform.

Media outlets picked up on the photos, and #flagbaby was born. People opposed to the image feel it violates the

that says "

The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything."

A post on Hicks' Facebook page reads, in part:

Yesterday was a hard day for me.

Yesterday, I almost let the hatred of some cyber bullies get to me.

Yesterday, I ALMOST believed them.

I posted a picture that I had recently taken of a military man holding his newborn son in a vinyl prop flag that I purchased at The Dollar Store. I love the shot. The family loves the shot. Most of you loved the shot.

Yesterday, I woke up to see this photo was shared on a group site that is meant to bash other photographers. It was in their opinion I had disrespected our nations 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. 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.

I am very well aware of our U.S Flag code. I also know exactly what desecration of a flag is. It's when you pull into ports and you see protestors with our flag and have spray painted horrible things on it. It's when you watch the news and you see other countries burning our flags, and you are a young Quartermaster scared because you know you are just a few nautical miles from that exact country.

I almost let these cyber bullies get me yesterday. I could have easily deleted the picture off of my business page and ended it with that. I almost did. Then I thought, WHY?

These cyber bullies would win!

Hell no!

So I went to the group and I stood up to them. I stood up for what I believed in! And you know what, so did so many others! A photography group saw the picture and agreed there was nothing disrespectful about it and went to the page and stood up for it. Friends, who I didn't even say anything to, somehow saw it and went and stood up for the picture.

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