Protesting Integration
Original Author: John T. Bledsoe
Created: August 20, 1959
Medium: Photograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Protesting Integration

This black-and-white photograph, taken on August 20, 1959, by John T. Bledsoe, shows a crowd protesting the admission of the "Little Rock Nine"—nine African American students—to the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. A group of people, one holding aloft a Confederate battle flag, listen attentively as Arkansas governor Orval Faubus, a staunch segregationist, reads a statement into the microphone. During the civil rights movement, those opposed to integration appropriated the Confederate flag as a symbol of resistance to federal power as represented by U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954), which ordered the desegregation of public schools.