Photographer Matt Herron described how the police responded to a child holding a U.S. flag while protesting for voting rights.
The boy is Anthony Quin, aged 5. His mother, Mrs. Aylene Quin 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 African Americans 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. Quin 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 U.S. 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 a U.S. flag on their license plates.
So the simple act of a small child carrying a U. S. flag represented defiance of Mississippi law and custom.
Dr. Wayne Anthony Quin died in 2015. Read tributes to his life by Matt Herron and Joyce Ladner at CRMvet.org.
Matt Herron died in 2020. Read a tribute to his life at Teaching for Change.