VIRGINIA (WITI) — A patriotic image, or a desecration of the American flag? That’s the question some on Facebook have about a photo by Vanessa Hicks, a Virginia Beach photographer and Navy veteran. The photo shows a baby being held up by an American flag.
FOX6’s sister station WTKR in Virginia talked with the photographer.
“I do believe that ths picture shows what it means to be an American. That flag, the uniform, that baby — exactly what every service member is out there fighting for,” Hicks said.
Hicks tells WTKR within hours of posting the photo to her photography Facebook page, she became the target of a Facebook cyberbully. The Facebook page “You Call Yourself a Photographer” shared Hicks’ photo — calling it disgusting and claiming Hicks desecrated the American flag.
“I was heartbroken. I was in shock,” Hicks said.
And it didn’t stop there.
I was starting to get the private messages and them going on my page and commenting on every picture that I have up there,” Hicks told WTKR.
Hicks says she tried reporting the “You Call Yourself a Photographer” page to Facebook, along with the private messages, but she says Facebook refused to take the page down.
“A day of crying, a day of second guessing myself as a photographer as a professional, as a person, as an American, as a veteran,” Hicks said.
Hicks is a Navy veteran, having served for four years. She now serves as a Navy wife and mom. Her husband is currently deployed.
“When I look at this picture, I see a man who has served six years in our Navy, the mother of this child is prior Army. I hope that other people want this pose and I will absolutely do it and share it proudly,” Hicks said.