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]] Flower child or Flower Children originated as a synonym for hippie, especially the idealistic young people who gathered in San Francisco and environs during the 1967 Summer of Love. It was the custom of "flower children" to wear and distribute flowers or floral-themed decorations to symbolize altruistic ideals of universal brotherhood, peace and love. The mass media picked up on the term and used it to refer in a broad sense to any hippie.


San Francisco

Scott McKenzie's rendition of the song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" was released in May 1967. [1] The song was written by John Phillips to promote the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and it urged visitors to San Francisco to "wear some flowers in your hair", in keeping with the festival's billing as "three days of music, love, and flowers":

If you're going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...
If you come to San Francisco,
Summertime will be a love-in there.

"San Francisco" became an instant hit (#4 in the United States, #1 in the U.K. [2]) and quickly transcended its original purpose.

Summer of Love

After the January 14 Human Be-In organized by artist Michael Bowen,[3] as many as 100,000 young people from all over the world flocked to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, Berkeley, and other Bay Area cities during the Summer of Love.[1] in search of different value systems and experiences. The Summer of Love became a watershed event in the development of a worldwide 1960s counterculture when newly-recruited Flower Children returned home at the end of the summer, taking with them new styles, ideas, and behaviors and introducing them in all major U.S. and Western European cities.

People's Park

The term achieved shades of political meaning when San Francisco Bay Area Flower Children gathered in Berkeley, California in April 1969 to participate in the planting of flowers, shrubs, grass, and trees during the building of People's Park. After authorities destroyed People's Park and installed an 8 ft (2.4 m) tall chain-link wire fence around its perimeter, planting flowers became a symbol of peaceful resistance.

Generation X

In the singular, the term flower child was later appropriated to mean Generation X children who have been raised by hippie parents, whether the child was a hippie or not: as of the 1990s, flower child could refer to any child brought up in a hippie-like household or having a notably hippie name. Template:Fact People having unusual names such as Cree Summer, Moon Unit, Rainbow Sun, Star, Sunshine, or other similar names might be referred to as flower children, regardless of their politics, parentage, or cultural background.

See also


  1. "Scott McKenzie's web site". 
  2. "U.K. Number Ones 1960-69". Rockmine Archives. 

Further reading

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