The Soiling of Old Glory, 1976

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The Soiling of Old Glory, 1976


The Soiling of Old Glory is a Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph taken by Stanley Forman during the Boston busing crisis in 1976. The photograph depicts Joseph Rakes, assaulting a black man, lawyer and civil rights activist Ted Landsmark, with a flagpole bearing the American flag..

The photograph was taken for the Boston Herald American in Boston on April 5, 1976, during a protest against court-ordered desegregation busing. The photograph, considered a symbol of the turmoil of the Boston busing crisis, won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Spot Photography.


"The Soiling of Old Glory." Stanley Forman for The Boston Herald American, April 5, 1976.




“The Soiling of Old Glory, 1976,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed May 21, 2019,

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