Veteran's baby photo called desecration of US flag

Baby Photo Called Desecration of U.S. Flag
Baby Photo Called Desecration of U.S. Flag

Take a look at this photo -- most see an adorable baby swaddled in a little American flag hammock, but some are seeing a desecration of the flag.

Photographer and Navy Veteran Vanessa Hicks took the photo of 8-day-old Landon with his father, also a Navy veteran, in the background.

Soon after the photo was taken, she posted it to her photography business' Facebook page -- where it began to gain some traction on social media.

As its popularity grew, so did backlash.

Vanessa Hicks Photography
Vanessa Hicks Photography

A poster on the Facebook page "You Call Yourself a Photographer" posted Hicks' photo along with a message accusing Hicks of desecration.

The poster wrote in part, "The flag is not a prop. ... To use the American flag in such a way is disrespectful, rude, tacky, disgusting, and against the U.S. Flag Code."

According to Hicks, what started as criticism quickly turned into harassment on Facebook and on the webpage for her business.

"I got messages. Things that said, 'go kill yourself,' 'you don't deserve to be a veteran,' ... and then attacks on the service member holding that baby as well."

Hicks defends the photo saying it's not desecration and it's meant to represent the freedoms that U.S. service members have fought for.

And the folks on Good Morning America seem to agree, "This is obviously a service member who is wrapping something very precious into the American flag that is very precious to her as well."

Scores of messages of support also showed up on Hicks' Facebook page.

Back to that comment that the photo is against the U.S. Flag Code, though. That poster may have a point.

According to the code, the American flag should "never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery." It also should "never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything."

In this case, we're assuming that also applies to babies.

Hicks has reportedly deleted the vast majority of negative messages on her Facebook page and web page and says she will continue to fight what she is calling "cyberbullying."

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