Flags of Our Fathers

James Douglas
March 8, 2007

Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the raising of the Stars and Stripes on the heights of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 as the US Marines and US Navy took the island from the Japanese became one of the most iconic images of the Second World War. Not surprisingly, the cash-strapped US Treasury latched onto the image to sell the war to the people in the form of a war bonds campaign, with the surviving flag-raisers press-ganged into sleazy promotional tours. This is the starting point for Clint Eastwood’s Pacific War diptych, first Flags of Our Fathers, based on the bestseller by James Bradley, whose father ‘Doc’ was the Navy corpsman in the famous photo.

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