February 23, 1945. It’s a date that will live in famous heroics, war brutality, photography, and bronze.
On the morning of February 23, U.S. troops raised the U.S. flag on a hill known as Mt. Suribachi, on the island of Iwo Jima — a visual signal to U.S. troops that the high ground had been taken, and the battle turned for the U.S.
Later in the day, an officer ordered a larger flag to be posted, to be more visible. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal caught that raising on film.
February 23 does not appear in the list of dates by law recommended for Americans to fly the U.S. flag. You may want to fly yours today, anyway.
- Joe Rosenthal — Iconic Iwo Jima photo revealed a lot about war, and about Americans, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, August 22, 2006, on Rosenthal’s death
- Charles Lindberg, first Iwo Jima flag raising, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, June 26, 2007
- Last flag-raising vet from Iwo Jima, Raymond Jacobs died, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, February 7, 2008
- Photo essay at USA Today, “70th anniversary of famous Iwo Jima photo,” February 21, 2015
- “Why 70-year-old Iwo Jima photo became iconic,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, CNN Online, February 22, 2015