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Flower Power - Peace and Love


Say the phrase "Flower Power" or "Peace and Love" and it´s sure to conjure up images of Hippies, tie-dye clothes, headbands and beads. It´s become synonymous with the Hippie way of life and ideals, but where and why exactly did it start?

"Flower Power" is deeply rooted in the conflict surrounding the Vietnam War. The idea was that protests to the war did not necessarily have to be violent events but could be peaceful, effective venues to change the world. In 1965, Allen Ginsberg suggested in one of his essays that flowers should be given to everyone at such events, law enforcement and attendees alike, to diffuse the situation and prevent the protests from becoming anger filled gatherings resulting in violence.

Flower Power

Being strong supporters of the war, the HAMC (Hells Angels) had made it known that they would violently disturb rallies arguing against the Vietnam War being held that year at UC Berkley. Ginsberg targeted the HAMC in particular and wished to respond to them with his idea of peaceful demonstration. When the protest was held it received so much positive attention that the term Flower Power was off and running into the history books.

Ultimately the terms "Flower Power" and "Peace and Love" have become synonymous with the word "Hippie" and the ideals of free love, drugs, and the folksy blues genre of music which became known as psychedelic rock. The ties to the original intention are still there, even though they have been shrouded in an over generalized term.