Three Famous Photos of the American Flag

by      July 16, 2014

Like flags, photos carry stories. They have the power to evoke memories of shared experiences, trials, and triumphs. Many photos have been taken of the American flag over the years, and these three might be the most famous.


Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was taken in the year 1945 by Joe Rosenthal, during the Battle of Iwo Jima. It later became the only photo to win the Pulitzer Prize in the same year it was captured.

This World War II photograph is extremely well-known, and said to be the most-reproduced photo of all time.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima


Firemen Raising the Flag at Ground Zero was taken on September 11, 2011, immediately following the September 11 attacks. It shows three New York City firefighters raising the American flag against a backdrop of rubble, and has drawn comparisons to Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.

In a curious turn of events, the flag shown in this photo disappeared after the photo was taken. It has yet to be found.

Argentina Wood Flag by Patriot Wood


“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”—Neil Armstrong, after becoming the first person to set foot on the moon.

When astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first humans to set foot on the moon, they planted an American flag in the lunar terrain. This action signaled the end of the Space Race, a competition for spaceflight supremacy between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Aldrin is seen posing with the American flag in this photo.

Argentina Wood Flag by Patriot Wood

What photo did we miss? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at @Patriot_Wood with your thoughts.

If you’d like to read more about American history, check out The Legend of the Bennington, The Genesis of the American Flag, and Meet the Father of Flag Day.