The Iwo Jima Photo-Symbol

On 23rd February 1945 the battle of Iwo Jima was over. It was a major battle and that morning the US marines stepped on the summit of Souribaki mount. Six men – Shrier, Thomas, Hansen, Lindbergh, Michaels and Carlo- hoisted the American flag on the top of that mountain at 10:30. The scene was captured by Louis Lowery among the cheers of the rest.First_Iwo_Jima_Flag_RaisingHowever, the photograph depicted on the US stamp on the cover underneath, which is among the most celebrated ones in the 20th century, is not the one taken by Lowery!

FDC Iwo Jima

The cover bears a cancellation dated on the day following the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

The United States Administration had decided that the flag was rather too small and sent a larger one on the mount escorted by a different team of photographers!

This time the team comprised: Joe Rosenthal, an Associated Press photographer; Bill Genaust, a sergeant photographer; Private Bob Campbell, a  photographer; and, Bill Hipple, a Newsweek photographer as well as other marines who took part in that imaginary hoisting. They hauled down the small flag and replaced it with the large one with excellent cinematographic direction at noon time on the same day. It is, indeed, an expressionistic scene!

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raisingThe photograph was taken by Rosenthal, who became known in the entire world through that photo. The cover depicted bears a cancellation dated on the day following the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

By James Makris for eCharta