Flower child originated as a synonym for hippie, especially among the idealistic young people who gathered in San Francisco and the surrounding area during the Summer of Love in 1967. It was the custom of “flower children” to wear and distribute flowers or floral-themed decorations to symbolize ideals of universal belonging, peace and love. The mass media picked up on the term and used it to refer in a broad sense to any hippie. Flower children were also associated with the flower power political movement, which originated in ideas written by Allen Ginsberg in 1965.
Awesome photo collection by Charles W. Cushman, showing the hippies from 1967 on the streets in San Francisco.
The term originated in the mid-1960s in the wake of a film version of H. G. Wells’sThe Time Machine that depicted flower-bestowing, communalpeople of the future in a story characterized by antiwar themes. American political activists like Allen Ginsberg and Abbie Hoffman advocated the giving of flowers as a means of peaceful protest. Images of flower-wielding protesters at the 1967 Pentagon March, such as Marc Riboud’s image of Jan Rose Kasmir titled Flower Child and Bernie Boston’s Pulitzer prize-nominated photograph Flower Power, popularized the association of flowers with the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colors, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children.
In an October, 1967 episode of Batman, Milton Berle portrayed Louie the Lilac, who tried to conquer all of the flower children, including Yvonne Craig’s Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. This was one of the earliest mentions of the term in mainstream media.
Source : thevintagenews.com