The march on the Pentagon in October 1967 produced one of the defining images of the anti-Vietnam War and Flower Power movements. In a defiant act of protest, a demonstrator placed a flower in the barrel of a National Guardsman’s rifle.
According to the Washington Post, the protester armed with the carnation was likely George Harris, then
around 18 years old, and an actor from New York. At the time, Harris was heading to San Francisco, where he would be known as Hibiscus, co-founder of a 'psychedelic gay-themed drag troupe called the
Cockettes'. Harris died in the early 1980s. His gesture of protest would be repeated on many subsequent occasions.
Of the four students killed during a protest at Ohio's Kent State University in May 1970, Allison Krause had placed a flower in a gun the previous day.
The conventional history of nations, even continents, is a history of warfare. According to this view, all the important ideas and significant changes of humankind occurred as part of an effort to win one violent, bloody conflict or another. This approach to history is only one of many examples of how societies promote warfare and glorify violence. But there have always been a few who have refused to fight.