To a large extent, the hippie movement or period was referred to as "flower power" in reference to the symbol of the flower so strongly associated with it. For the hippies, the Scott Mackenzie song, "San Francisco," embodied this perfectly: "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." For the hippies, the flowers being worn helped to indicate a state of mind and a state of being.
When Allen Ginsburg coined the phrase, it was meant to be a call to action. "Flower power" was the belief that there can be social change when people of this kind all "come together" in an understanding of how things should be as opposed to how they are. The hippies understood flowers as being both a statement of who they are, but also a political statement of resistance. The idea of "flower power" was used to develop a contrast to the militant and materialistic perceptions they held towards "conventional" social orders. As the war in Vietnam was growing and opposition to it began to increase, the full force of flower power as defiant political statement becomes even more evident. The hippies appropriated flowers as a way to assert voice, and a way to challenge social expectations. The image of the hippie placing a flower in the gun of a soldier is where one can see the true value of "flower power." In this, the movement's appropriation of flower becomes a political and social statement that simultaneously operates as a condition of being.
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