February 23, 2010

First Iwo Jima Flag: Too Small

Everyone knows the famous image of the soldiers raising the flag in Iwo Jima, but did you know that when this historic event actually happened, the flag you see in the iconic photo was actually the second flag they raised on that day because the first one was too small?

The photograph, taken at the top of Mt. Suribachi after the American Marines had fought their way to controlling the mountain, beating back the fierce Japanese fighters. The Marines planted a flag to commemorate the courage and bravery and achievement of their fellow troops.

But two hours later, it was decided that the flag they planted was not big enough to really capture the moment, so they went back and planted another, setting up the most famous photo-op perhaps in American history.

First Iwo Jima Flag: Too Small
eyewitness to history

The photograph at the right of Marines raising the American flag at the summit of Mt. Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima has become an enduring image of bravery and heroism. However, this was actually the second flag raised on the mountain's summit that day. The first flag-raising occurred a couple of hours earlier - shortly after Marines had gained the top of the mountain after hard fighting. This flag was deemed too small to be easily seen from the base of the mountain so a second, larger flag was raised.

First Iwo Jima Flag: Too Small

Posted at February 23, 2010 12:04 AM