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Watch: OneShot — Raising The Flag On Iwo Jima, A Look Back

Detail of photograph by Joe Rosenthal
Detail of photograph by Joe Rosenthal

Six men, one flag: it is the defining image of the Greatest Generation.

No bodies, no planes or tanks, and yet it has become one of the most recognizable images of that worldwide conflict that killed tens of millions and changed history forever. It was 74 ago, on Feb. 23, 1945, that U.S. photographer Joe Rosenthal captured image later dubbed Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. The photograph shows five U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman planting the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in Japan. Three of the men — Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block and Private First Class Franklin Sousley — died in combat later that same week.

The photo was distributed in newspapers two days after it was taken and quickly gained popularity nationwide, while Joe Rosenthal became the only photographer to win the Pulitzer Prize award within the same year of taking the picture. From memorial statues, postage stamps to countless homages (and parodies) in popular culture, few photographs have garnered such an iconic status.

In commemoration of the 74th anniversary of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, OneShot brings this powerful photo to life.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima — © Joe Rosenthal/Associated Press



​OneShot is a new digital format to tell the story of a single photograph in an immersive one-minute video.

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Why are all these people leaving a state that on paper looks like the best place in the world to live? Why are stickers with the phrase “Don't California my Texas” attached to the back of so many pick-up trucks?

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