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American WWII Flags

American flag in combat: Proud and historic moments.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Nazi Flags, Japanese Flags, Nazi signs, symbols - Swastika, Military Uniforms, Nazi Helmets, Military Scale Models.

WWII Marine Carl Coker finds peace by returning Japanese flag: "I was hired killer, but things change as you get older"
90-year-old Carl Coker was a WWII Marine who fought the Japanese in Guam. "I wasn`t emotional in the war. I was hired killer, but things change as you get older." Carl wants to return a Japanese flag to one of the families whose name is written on it. He found the flag in a helmet from a dead soldier while fighting the Japanese in Guam. "Well I got me a Jap flag. I didn`t know if my buddies had any, but I thought I had a real trophy." But now, the 90-year old is trying to find closure from the war as he nears the end of life. "I don`t need it anymore, but I have a yearning to get that flag to these people."
(wreg.com)

Autographs from Iwo Jima: John Beele collects the signatures of those who witnessed historic WWII battle
Everywhere he travels, John Beele - a collector of all things relating to Iwo Jima - seeks out servicemen who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, asking them to sign a flag that has the iconic image of Marines raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi. The most precious signature is the one by Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who snapped the famous picture of 5 Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the Stars and Stripes.
(ozaukeepress.com)

American WWII veteran returns huge 12-meter French war flag he looted from Paris
On the day Paris was liberated from the Nazis in 1944, an American soldier looted a souvenir of epic size: He seized the French 12-meter (13-yard) flag that hung from the Arc de Triomphe, a symbol of the end of 4 years of struggle. Now the anonymous U.S. veteran - too ashamed to come forward - has returned the flag to Paris. "If an American GI wanted to take home a souvenir, I`d say there was nothing reprehensible about that, it`s an act you can easily understand," said French historian Christine Levisse-Touze, who added that the flag seems to be the real thing, based on the archive footage.
(msnbc.msn.com)

Nick Artimovich has collected 800 American flags, thousands of pieces of memorabilia
Nick Artimovich - who has collected upward of 800 U.S. flags and thousands of flag-related memorabilia items - spreads out a vivid flag from the 1870s on which stars are grouped into a larger star (flag makers arranged them however they pleased until 1912). The oldest flag in his collection is a 28-star banner from the 1840s. The biggest is a 15-by-23 feet yacht flag. The most expensive: a Lincoln campaign flag (bought for $2,000 sold for $12,000). In all he has spent $75,000 on his collection, which also includes stars and stripes emblazoned on pins, patches, ribbons, soldier figurines, postcards, and so on.
(washingtonpost.com)

American journalists do not recognize the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising photograph
Recently Ron Grossman took a survey in the newsroom, asking colleagues to identify the iconic World War II photo of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. While some recognized the image, others couldn`t quite place it. "I know I ought to know it. It was in the movie, Flags of Our Fathers," one co-worker said. Some, seeing military uniforms, figured out it must be a war photo. Maybe Vietnam? One suggested it was D-Day. Journalists are probably more attuned to history than many people who have less motivation to keep up with the past (almost 25% of 17-year-olds couldn`t identify Adolf Hitler in a survey).
(chicagotribune.com)

Not much truth in the Reichstag photo showing hammer and sickle flag over Berlin
Another piece of the tale behind the iconic 1945 photo of Red Army soldiers lifting the hammer and sickle flag on the Reichstag in Berlin, has been revealed. Photographer Yevgeny Khaldei took the picture after the Red Army marched into Berlin and flew the negatives to Moscow. When he developed them he saw that one of the Soviet soldiers was wearing 2 watches – a clear sign of looting which did not fit with the heroic image of the army. He scratched the second watch from the negative. Later he added more clouds of smoke, and even replaced the original flag with a large one - filled with wind.
(thelocal)

Raymond Jacobs - The last man in iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo
Raymond Jacobs, the last member of the Marines photographed during the original U.S. flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, has died at 82. He had spent his later years proving that he was the radio operator photographed looking up at an American flag as it was being raised by Marines on Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. He was on the mountain during the raising of a smaller American flag, though he had returned to his unit by the time the renowned AP photo was taken of a second flag-raising. The radioman`s face isn`t fully visible in the first photo by Lou Lowery, but other negatives from the same film roll show the radioman is Jacobs.
(bbc.co.uk)

Mikhail Minin, who raised the USSR flag over Reichstag in 1945, died
World War II veteran Mikhail Minin, a Hero of the Soviet Union, who set up the USSR flag, the banner of Victory, over Nazi Germany’s Reichstag in May of 1945, died. He took part in battles to liberate Leningrad from blockade and made his way across the fronts to Berlin. When the Soviet army was assaulting Reichstag on April 30, 1945 Minin broke into the building and became the first man to raise the Red Banner on its tower. However, the famous picture does not show Minin but a Georgian soldier, because it was not taken at the actual event. Minin was recognized for his effort, but not rewarded, as there were no photos taken when the flag was put on the roof on 10 p.m.
(pravda)

Japanese flag taken down from the summit of Mount Suribachi
Linda Byak will take a special item to be appraised at `Antiques Road Show`. It`s a Japanese flag taken on Iwo Jima by her late father who led the most forward patrol moving up Mount Suribachi. In its place other Marines raised an American flag. "I just want someone to authenticate it and tell me what the Japanese writing on the flag says." Her father, Sherman Watson, a sergeant in the Marines, led 3 other men to the top of the mountain as his company fought its way up the steep sides on Feb. 23, 1944. Reaching the top the patrol removed the flag and was called back down the mountain by the platoon leader.
(theledger)

Honoring The Life Of The Last Iwo Jima Flagraiser Charles Lindberg
Charles "Chuck" Lindberg, the last survivor of the first American flag-raising over Iwo Jima, died at 86. He helped raise the first American flag on Mount Surabachi. "Down below troops started to cheer. You should`ve heard `em. Ship whistles out in the ocean went off. It was quite a day," Lindberg recounted in a 2005 WCCO-TV documentary "The Last Flagraiser". His accomplishment was overshadowed when a replacement flag was raised a few hours later. Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the photograph by Joe Rosenthal, that raised the first flag.
(wcco.com)

First Iwo Jima Flag on Display - Flag In Photo Was Not The First
At 29 by 56 inches, it goes unnoticed next to its famous replacement, but the first flag raised over Iwo Jima got its due at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The center of the museum`s Flag Day celebration, the flag joined an exhibit on the battle of Iwo Jima. Though it was replaced after 2 hours by the larger flag captured in the Pulitzer photograph, the first flag remains an important symbol for the Marine Corps. Raised under fire using a pipe as a flagpole, the smaller flag helped boost morale by commemorating the occupation of Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. The second flag raised had been part of the World War II gallery exhibit since the museum`s opening.
(fredericksburg)

A Marine`s courage saved flag at Guadalcanal
The Marine Corps League, Seacoast detachment, honored a flag that has been in its keeping for 30 years, telling its story for the first time. It was the first American flag flown on the island of Guadalcanal. "When the Japanese launched a ferocious counterattack, Marine Cpl. George Doore, not wanting our colors to fall into enemy hands, dodging hostile fire, climbed to the roof of the beach master`s shed, and removed and saved our flag from seizure and humiliation at the hands of the enemy. It`s a very, very honorable situation ... the fact that he had the courage to do that and the patriotism to do that is very significant."
(seacoastonline)

Vandals burned American flags, leave swastika flags at grave sites
Investigators are lifting fingerprints to try to find the vandals who trashed a Washington Woodlawn cemetery twice during Memorial Day weekend. Vandals burned dozens of American flags at veterans` grave sites and replaced them with hand-made swastika flags. Volunteers discovered the damage Sunday and replaced the flags, but the vandals came back Monday.
(katu)

Unlocking World War II flag mystery   (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II digger Charles Farquharson fought the Japanese on the Kokoda Track, and was shot by the enemy there, ending his part in WWII. In the late 1960s he took a nostalgic trip back to the scene of his wounding, and searched around the area a bit, it`s full of relics and artefacts, and discovered a satchel with two Japanese flags in it. One of the flags had calligraphy written across its silken sheen. It was a list of names from a wartime Japanese soldier’s home town, or prefecture, called Niigata. "Each soldier carried one of these flags, which was presented by the mayor of the prefecture they came from."
(sunshinecoastdaily)

Historical Treasures - Looted Japanese WWII flags   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Inside the shirt of a Japanese military officer; in a submarine and in a military building near Nagasaki after the second atomic bomb was dropped. These were all places of Japanese flags - flags now owned by Mike Swarbrick. His father, James C. Swarbrick, was a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, who snagged them as memorabilia. The flag with the design of Japan`s national flag was taken off a military building in a town near Nagasaki. "My dad was on Nagasaki, like a week or two after the atomic bomb was dropped. And the military commanders said `Just don`t pick up anything and put it in your pocket,` because obviously they didn`t even know what radiation was at that point."
(the-signal)

A WWII relic comes home -- Iwo Jima flag
The fierce 72-hour battle for Iwo Jima resulted the deaths of 6,000 Marines and an image that would come to symbolize American determination. "The fighting was so intense the firing was almost like going through a rain of bullets," Marine Col. Avery Chenoweth, a military historian and combat artist, said of the famous World War II invasion. He came to the museum off Interstate 95 to see the installation of the U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima. He said the Iwo Jima flag is as historic as the one raised over Fort McHenry in 1814 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
(fredericksburg)

What photographs spring to mind if you think of World War II
The death of Joe Rosenthal reminds us of one of the most enduring images of that war, the raising of the US flag on Iwo Jima - a photograph taken by him on 23 Feb 1945. He followed a US Marine group up to the summit of Mount Suribachi, and snapped six men raising the Stars and Stripes. But this was the second flag raised on the spot, a smaller flag having been erected 3 hours earlier. The next iconic image of war is the raising of another flag during WWII: over the Reichstag in Berlin. It was shot by Soviet photographer Yevgeni Khaldei on 2 May 1945, as the last Nazi forces resisted. But it, too, is controversial: image was staged a couple of days later.
(bbc)

Combat photographer who took the flag raising photograph
Combat photographer Joe Rosenthal who captured the Pulitzer image of World War II marines raising an American flag over Iwo Jima, died. He didn`t realize he had shot anything special until days later when the praise started pouring in. "Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don`t come away saying you got a great shot. You don`t know." The photo became the subject of posters, war-bond drives and a postage stamp. Rosenthal captured the second raising of the flag after the Marines decided the first flag was too small.
(startribune)

Flag fight with Marines: WWII photograph of five Marines
Eugene Foley is taking on a Leatherneck icon: the famous World War II photograph by Joe Rosenthal of five Marines and a Navy medical corpsman raising the US flag on Iwo Jima`s Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. Foley says the flag came from his vessel, the USS Eldorado, an amphibious force command ship and the flagship for Adm. Richmond K. Turner, who led the 500-ship invasion fleet. The Marines say the flag came from LST 779, a tank-carrying transport ship that beached at the base of Suribachi. The Navy`s official account squares with the Marines`, but the Coast Guard has its own version: The flag came from LST 758.
(leatherneck)

Flag from Nazi Headquarters and souvenir from Hitler`s desk   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Mike Viechec and his comrades took a flag off of a Nazi Headquarters in World War II, and replaced it with an American Flag. The signatures of his fellow soldiers on the torn down Nazi flag show the pride taken in their country, but one of Viechec`s most prized possessions is a letter opener he says he took as a souvenir off of Hitler`s desk. "He won`t be opening up any more mail," laughed Viechec. The images of human suffering are burned in his memories, and his medals and memorabilia act as a constant reminder of his struggle.
(winktv)

The first American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima
A WWII hero whose accomplishments were forgotten for years may soon have a veterans` health clinic named in his honor. Lindberg helped raise the first American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. His accomplishment was later overshadowed when a replacement flag was raised a few hours later.
(wcco)

23 Feb 1945: US flag raised over Iwo Jima battlefield
US troops have raised the Stars and Stripes over Iwo Jima four days after landing on the Japanese-held volcanic island. The 28th Regiment of the 5th Marine Division took Mount Suribachi at 1030 local time. The extinct volcano offers a strategic vantage point for the ongoing battle for control of the island. Iwo Jima would serve as a useful base for long-range fighters to cover B-29 Superfortresses in a bombing campaign against the Japan`s capital. Although the Stars and Stripes are flying over the island the battle is far from over and the Japanese are defending every inch of the island using elaborate underground defences.
(bbc)


See also:
Nazi Flags
Japanese Flags
Nazi signs, symbols - Swastika
Military Uniforms
Nazi Helmets
Military Scale Models.