Saluting the flag at the Whittier Primary School, Hampton, Virginia
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Source: Library of Congress, Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-65770; see here for more details
The picture was taken in 1899 or 1900, just as the full force of segregation was tightening itself around the necks of African Americans – sometimes in a literal way.
Yet, these children – or their parents or teachers – still saw fit to salute the flag. But then, that flag might have freed those children’s grandparents, or even their parents. So the flag was still something to respect, perhaps even without a sense of irony.