Q: Of the two American flags that were raised on Iwo Jima, I know the first was replaced by a larger flag within two or three hours on Feb. 23, 1945. When was the famous larger flag taken down? Where are the two flags today?
— Ken Best, Loganville
A: Both flags are at the National Museum of the Marine Corps (www.usmcmuseum.com) in Triangle, Va. One is on display at all times, but they are rotated to save them from damaging lights. The smaller flag — which measures 54 inches by 28 inches — had come from the USS Missoula and was raised on Mount Suribachi at 10:20 a.m. by a patrol using a 20-foot pipe, according to Naval History and Heritage Command (www.history.navy.mil). That flag raising was photographed by Sgt. Louis R. Lowery, who was with Leatherneck magazine. Three hours later, a flag measuring 96 inches by 56 inches from another ship, LST-779, was raised by five Marines and a Navy corpsman and famously captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945. The second flag flew for the length of the battle for Iwo Jima, according to the museum, and is frayed from the wind. The island was declared secure on March 26, 1945. Three of the five Marines involved in the second flag raising were killed on Iwo Jima. James Bradley, the son of John Bradley, the Navy corpsman, wrote “Flags of Our Fathers,” published in 2000.
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