Vanessa Hicks, the photographer who captured the now controversial snap of a baby cradled in an American flag is speaking out on the heels of her work’s sudden viral-ness.

Hicks, who was approached by the baby’s parents, said it was their idea to photograph the boy with the flag as a way to pay homage to their military service.


flag baby 2

The following post written by Hicks appeared on her Facebook page:

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.