Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Mississippi, Matt Herron

with 18 comments

 

In 1965, at Jackson, Mississippi, Matt Herron took an iconic and ironic image from the civil rights era as a white policeman rips an American flag away from a young black boy, having already confiscated his ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign. Herron remembers the events that surrounded that World Press Photo prize wining photos:

The picture was taken at the side entrance to the Governor’s mansion on Capital Street in Jackson in the summer of 1965. The boy is Anthony Quinn, aged 5. His mother, Mrs. Ailene Quinn of McComb, Mississippi and her children were trying to see Governor Paul Johnson; they wanted to protest aganist the election of five Congressmen from districts where blacks were not allowed to vote. Refused admittance, they sat on the steps. The policeman struggling with Anthony is Mississippi Highway Patrolman Hughie Kohler. As Kohler attempted to confiscate the flag, Mrs. Quinn said: ‘Anthony, don’t let that man take your flag.’ Kohler went berserk, yanking Anthony off his feet.

In the South during the civil rights movement, the American flag was a potent symbol of support for racial integration (and support for federal law). Southerners who believed in racial segregation displayed Confederate flags instead. People were pulled from their cars by policemen and beaten simply for displaying an American flag on their license plates. So the simple act of a small child carrying an American flag represented defiance of Mississippi law and custom.

Anthony and his mother were arrested and hauled off to jail, which was a cattle stockade at the county fairground, since the city jails were already full of protesters. The Quinn protest was organized by COFO (Council of Federated Organizations), an umbrella organization responsible for most civil rights activities in the state. Today Anthony lives in Florida. I believe he is a lawyer. His mother died recently, and when Patrolman Kohler died a number of years ago, his obituary in the Jackson Daily News referred to this photograph and mentioned how Kohler regretted that moment ‘for the rest of his life’.”

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

June 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm

18 Responses

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  1. […]   In 1965, at Jackson, Mississippi, Matt Herron took an iconic and ironic image from the civil rights era as a white policeman rips an American flag away from a young black boy, having already confiscated his 'No More Police Brutality' sign. Herron remembers the events that surrounded that World Press Photo prize wining photos: The picture was taken at the side entrance to the Governor's mansion on Capital Street in Jackson in the summer of 1965. … Read More […]

  2. Excellent post

    Mrs D

    June 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

  3. […] No más brutalidad Policial   iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/mississippi-matt-he…  por mezvan hace 1 segundos […]

  4. This little black boy is now a hero and this policeman is now a perfect shit.
    This is the time and history consecuences, everything ends in the right site.

    Javier

    June 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

  5. There are so many amazing things

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    June 30, 2011 at 2:39 am

  6. I like the contents of this website.Inside the great relessed content.

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    July 14, 2011 at 1:53 am

  7. The question I have is did patrolman Kholer regret it because his cruelty was caught via photographs or that he so shamelessly tried to silence a 5 year old who was just trying to take a stand to racism? I pray it is the latter.

    NaturallyMe

    January 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

  8. thank you, Matt

    bascombe

    January 28, 2013 at 3:05 am

  9. Reblogged this on Menningarmiðlun ehf. and commented:
    Kynþáttafordómar fá á sig margar ljótar myndir. Þessar ljósmyndir sýna okkur hve áhrifamikla sögu fréttaljósmyndarar og lítil börn geta ofið saman. Lögreglumaðurinn varð táknmynd ofbeldis og þöggunar þegar hann reif fána úr höndum fimm ára drengs.

    Skúli Sæland

    January 28, 2013 at 7:33 am

  10. […] Jackson, Mississippi 1965 – Highway patrolman Hughie Kohlman rips American flag away from 5 year-old Anthony Quinn during a protest at the governor’s mansion. […]

  11. […] people’s faces in the photos, especially the image of a police officer wresting a flag from a little boy’s hands, by photographer Matt […]

  12. He regretted it .LOL. who believes that crap.

    Jane Dornbusch

    June 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    • God is the marvelous changer of hearts.

      Kate Geary

      September 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

  13. […] A policeman rips the American flag away from 5-year-old Anthony Quinn, having already confiscated his ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign in Jackson, Mississippi (1965). Photograph by Matt Heron. Mrs. Ailene Quinn of McComb, Mississippi and her children were trying to see Governor Paul Johnson; they wanted to protest against the election of five Congressmen from districts where blacks were not allowed to vote. Refused admittance, they sat on the steps. The policeman struggling with Anthony is Mississippi Highway Patrolman Hughie Kohler. As Kohler attempted to confiscate the flag, Mrs. Quinn said: ‘Anthony, don’t let that man take your flag.’ Kohler went berserk, yanking Anthony off his feet. Anthony and his mother were arrested and taken to jail. Story and source […]

  14. I think this is the most remarkable story and what is so beautifully exemplified is the redeeming comment from Kohler who said “I regretted that moment for the rest of my life” .God rest his soul.

    Now…a lifetime has passed since then and yet here in 2016 we seem to be fast tracking back to the ways of 1966 .

    Let’s get it together America ! Love one another as sisters and brothers.

    Marie Tyler Wiley

    September 17, 2016 at 2:33 am

  15. Exactly. The point being that if you try to respect the flag, you can’t win, if you say hey, black people are dying by police at astonishing rates so the flag doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to, freedom and justice for all, you can’t win. Kneeling isn’t the problem. White America is. And I’m white.

    Jl

    September 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

  16. Reblogged this on Phoenix Rising Art Blog and commented:
    Wow! Thanks Brandon

    P.R.A. Publishing Blog

    September 29, 2017 at 11:51 am


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