The Ultimate Confrontation
The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet is a photograph of Jan Rose Kasmir (born in 1950), at that time an American high-school student. This iconic photograph was taken by French photographer Marc Riboud. Riboud photographed Kasmir on 21 October 1967 while taking part with over 100,000 anti-war activists in the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's March on the Pentagon to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Seventeen-year-old Kasmir was shown clasping a chrysanthemum and gazing at bayonet-wielding soldiers. The photo was featured in the December 30, 1969 special edition of Look magazine under the title The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet. The photo was republished world-wide and became a symbol of the flower power movement. Smithsonian Magazine later called it "a gauzy juxtaposition of armed force and flower child innocence".
In London in February 2003, Riboud again photographed Kasmir protesting against the Iraq War where she carried a poster-size copy of the 1967 photograph. Unfortunately, that March was completely ignored even though it was the largest peace rally in the world to date. Jan decided not to invest herself in protesting, and redirected her energy to helping people in her community.
In January 2017, once again she was compelled by circumstances that overwhelmed her, and she joined the Women's March in Washington, DC to send a message to the new president of the United States. She felt completely overwhelmed by the caliber of the president's character, and she felt her objection to his platform and his behavior needed to be registered! She was 67 at the time, and called upon all of her strength to march several miles in protest.
Alarmed by the impact of a trump presidency, the following year she jumped into the national spotlight by becoming involved with organizing the Impeach trump March and related events, staged January 26, 27 and 28. In addition, she was the main speaker at a preliminary fundraiser the day before the events. At the fundraiser, she shared about her political experiences and community service over the last 50 years. In addition, Jan talked about her new autobiographical book, FlowerChild,The Untold Story Behind the Photograph, which tells the story of that day and how life shaped her for her role as a peace marcher.
Kasmir graduated in 1986 from the New York College of Health Professions in Manhasset, New York as a massage therapist, and worked in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina until 1991. She then moved to Aarhus, Denmark, with her Danish husband and their daughter. She returned with her daughter to the United States in 2002, and resumed living on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
- Riboud, Marc. "USA. Washington DC. 1967. An American young girl, Jan Rose." Magnum Photos. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Jan Rose Kasmir. "The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet." www.sixtiessurvivors.com. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Curry, Andrew (April 2004). "Flower Child". Smithsonian Magazine. 35 (1): 27.
- Paprocki, Justin (October 23, 2010). "Activist celebrates peace day in Spain". The Island Packet. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Kasmir Photo, by Marc Riboud, October 1967
- Kasmir Interview by El Proyecto Avalon
- Kasmir, Jan Rose (November 7, 2014). "That's me in the picture: Jan Rose Kasmir at an anti-Vietnam war rally at the Pentagon, in 1967". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2016.