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Samantha Clevenger

Baby wrapped in American flag photo sparks controversy

Professional photographer Vanessa Hicks has been the subject of controversy this week over newborn photography images she took and shared on her Facebook page and online professional photography community.  Some are calling the photos of a baby laying nude on an American flag and swaddled in a flag shaped like a tiny hammock unpatriotic and a desecration of the flag. 
The baby in the photo belong to her client, a military veteran, Samantha Clevenger and the man in uniform holding ends of the hammock is her husband Rodney Clevenger a current active duty Navy seaman.  U
Hicks and the Clevengers have been all over TV and radio defending the image which went viral and drew the ire of many reservionists, active duty and vets, but also much support from military families and others as well. 
Hicks addressed the controversy on her Facebook page:

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.

“The inspiration behind this photo is that we wanted to capture everything about this family in one shot,” Hicks told BuzzFeed News. “The father, who is in uniform, is currently serving. The mother is a veteran. This baby is being wrapped in the flag.”
She has since offered the couple free photography for life. 
Perhaps, as we’ve covered in Bellyitch in the past, wearing the American flag violates protocol as well but it is a recycled fashion trend adopted internationally. 
What are your thoughts on the matter?

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