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Last modified: 2006-11-19 by phil nelson
Keywords: star-spangled banner | bennington flag | perry flag | fort mchenry | iwo jima | mount everest |
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Some famous flags that made history: where are they now?

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Iwo Jima Flags

BOTH Iwo Jima flags are in the US Marine Corps museum at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, DC. The smaller one is the one first raised.
Nick Artimovich, 10 December 1997

I just posted an interesting story to Flagwire on one of the men responsible for raising the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War 2. I'm wondering if any of the other men in the famous photo by Joe Rosenthal have ever been identified, and spoken about the experience?
David Cohen, 21 February 2000

The US Marine Corps War Memorial webpage identifies the flag raisers as Michael Strank, Harlan H. Block, Franklin R. Sousley, Rene A. Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and John H. Bradley. BTW, the tragic life of Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian who succumbed to alcoholism, is told in "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", recorded by both Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, among others. Ned Smith, 20 February 2000

Both of the Iwo Jima Flags raised in Feb. of 1945 by the Easy Co of the 28th Marine Rgt. are in the USMC. Museum Washington Navy Yard. They were both recently conserved by the noted textile conservator Fonda Thompson.

The story that only the 1st flag survived seems to stem form the recent book Flags of Our Fathers, by James Bradley. He states that the second flag was ripped to shreds, In fact the second flag's fly end was shredded, but the flag survives.
James Ferrigan, 17 July 2000

There is an article in Spanish taken from the Colombian Navy official website that tells the story about the controversy in which there were actually two pictures of the same event, one taken by Sergeant Low Lowery and the other by photographer Joe Rosenthal in which Rosenthal's shot came out better because of angle and flag size, so Lowry's picture was "no longer needed".

Charles Lindberg (not the aviator) lives in Minneapolis about 80 miles from here. He was at the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima during the battle. Here is part of the story excerpted from a special education edition of the American Legion magazine Sept, 2002, made possible by American Legion Post 12 of Long Prairie, Minnesota (where the 1st flag raising of Iwo Jima is depicted in 4 story memorial), written by Rodger Johnston.

By the end of D+3, Mount Suribachi was surrounded by Marines dying by the thousands with even more being wounded. Colonel Johnson handed a select group of Marines an American flag from the USS Missoula and said, 'If you get to the top, raise the flag'. The expectation was the enemy dug deep into the mountain would slaughter the Marines.

At 10:20am, the American flag was tied to a Japanese water pipe and raised by Marines Charles Lindberg, Harold Schrier, Boots Thomas, and Hank Hanson. Louis Carlo, James Michaels and Raymond Jacobs together with a detachment of other Marines were on hand. Lou Lowery, a leatherneck photographer, clicked his camera as ship offshore and men below sounded off a cheer that transformed the island into New Year's eve.

Aroused by the outpouring of excitement, Japanese emerged from their tunnels and the flag raisers came under heavy fire. When the battle ended, the flag remained.

When the Secretary of the Navy heard all the commotion he was advised that the Marines had raised the American flag on Japanese homeland for the first time in over 2,000 years. He immediately ordered that this most momentous flag be delivered to him.

Col. Johnson responded that his men had died by the thousands and that the flag would not be transferred out of his battalion. The Secretary of the Navy then ordered photographers and a detachment of Marines to climb the mountain to remove the flag and replace it with a second American flag. Joe Rosenthal took a photo of the second flag raising by Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley, Mike Strank, Rene Gagnon and Harlon Block.

The photos of the first flag raising taken by Lou Lowery were not developed until after the war. Before Lou died, he bequeathed all the photos to Charles Lindberg, the last surviving flag raiser. Fifty-seven years after the flag raising, Charles Lindberg's dream that someday the First Flag Raisers of Iwo Jima would be honored became reality.

In addition, a never before seen photo of the actual first flag raising was re-created from the photos of Lou Lowery under the direction of flag raiser, Charles Lindberg. The picture clearly and accurately reveals the faces, bodies and ground of the first flag raising that instantly became an inspiration to the combatants on Iwo Jima.

Lee Herold, 25 September 2006

Joe Rosenthal died on Sunday 20 August 2006 at the age of 94 in Novato, California.
Ivan Sache, 26 September 2006

The status of the island of Iwo Jima as part of the "Hoime islands" not withstanding; the first US flags raised or hoisted over pre-war Japanese territory and "home waters", occurred some months before at the Kwajalein Atoll. At sea, it was when the USS Phelps dropped anchor; ashore it was a flag raised by the 4th Division, 25 Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jim Ferrigan, 26 September 2006

Star-Spangled Banner

The Star-Spangled Banner in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Nick Artimovich, 10 December 1997

Bennington Flag

The Bennington Flag (not authentic, but a curious relic) is in Bennington, Vermont
Nick Artimovich, 10 December 1997

"Don't Give Up The Ship"
of Oliver Hazard Perry (War of 1812)

"Dont Give Up The Ship" flag of Oliver Hazard Perry (War of 1812) and Matthew Perry's flag used to open Japan to the west (among lots of other flags) are at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
Nick Artimovich, 10 December 1997

U.S. Capitol Flag during the Pearl Harbor attack

The U.S. flag that flew over the Capitol during attack on Pearl Harbor, then flown in Berlin and Tokyo at the end of the war, is in the H.S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.
Nick Artimovich, 10 December 1997

Hillary and Tensing's Flag on Mount Everest

Hillary and Tensing's Flag on Mount Everest undoubtedly blew away in the wind!
James Dignan, 11 December 1997

Wolfe's flag at Quebec

The flag carried by Wolfe at Quebec is not known for sure. Benjamin West's 1770 painting "The Death of Wolfe" takes liberties with what almost certainly happened: Wolfe is shown expiring elegantly and gracefully, as his friends and allies look on concerned. In the painting there is a furled flag, which I can't identify. Again, West probably put it in to add gravity to the occasion. Who can say if there really was vex. content?
David Cohen, 11 December 1997

The flag is the Union Jack of the period, but the West painting is so notorious for its concern for drama over historical accuracy that it is hard to tell if West meant it to be a King's Colour of one the regiments present in the battle. The 15th (deep yellow), 28th (yellow), 35th (orange), 43rd (white), 47th (white), 48th (buff), 58th (black), 78th (buff) Regiments and two battalions of the Royal Americans were in the battle, and each carried a King's Colour (Union Jack) and Regimental Colour (in the colours noted above for each regiment). Wolfe was at the head of the 28th Regiment when he fell. Edward Penny's 1764 painting of the death of Wolfe is far more accurate and shows the battle line in the background having advanced from the point where Wolfe fell, and a King's and Regimental Colour are faintly visible in the battle smoke.
T.F. Mills, 11 December 1997