Home » News & Analysis » Iwo Jima at 70: The Most Reproduced and Parodied Photo in History?


Iwo Jima at 70: The Most Reproduced and Parodied Photo in History?

628x471-2

Photographer Joe Rosenthal admitted that when he took a shot of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, he had no idea that he had captured something extraordinary. He was setting up for a different shot when he spotted the group of men planting the flag and quickly took a snap without even looking through the viewfinder. The chance photo would become iconic overnight and go on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” is often cited as being the most reproduced photograph in history. It is also probably the most parodied image in the world. The “Iwo Jima pose” has become a popular symbol for organizations or movements wishing to convey victory, teamwork, or patriotism. The use of the image has ranged from respectful homage to what some consider offensive misappropriation.

Art and Sculpture

Lego sculpture by brick artist Nathan Sawaya

Lego sculpture by brick artist Nathan Sawaya

Lego tableau by <a href=

Carved in ice by Ice Art, Inc

Carved in ice by Ice Art, Inc

Mask of New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro

Mask of New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro

Alstede Farms corn maze, Chester, New Jersey

Alstede Farms corn maze, Chester, New Jersey

Sand sculpture by artist J.W. Gruber

Sand sculpture by artist J.W. Gruber

Illustration by the “etchasketchist”

Illustration by the “etchasketchist”

Sculpted out of butter in the Camp Fallujah chow hall, Iraq

Sculpted out of butter in the Camp Fallujah chow hall, Iraq

Cake made from crispy rice and chocolate at Cake Cental

Cake made from crispy rice and chocolate at Cake Central

Tattoo inspired by the photograph

Tattoo inspired by the photograph

Removable tattoos for those who only want to temporarily display their patriotism

Removable tattoos for those who only want to temporarily display their patriotism

Jack O’Lantern

Jack O’Lantern

Ol’ Glory beer successfully appealed to federal regulator to allow the “Pledge of Allegiance” to be printed on every can

Ol’ Glory beer successfully appealed to federal regulator to allow the “Pledge of Allegiance” to be printed on every can

Portable War Museum by artist Edward Kienholz

Portable War Museum by artist Edward Kienholz

Stamps and Currency

United States 1945

United States 1945

United States 1995

United States 1995

Grenada 1970

Grenada 1970

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank initially denied that the 1000 Rupee note circulated in 2009 was modeled after the Rosenthal photograph, but later confessed that the image was indeed the inspiration.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank initially denied that the 1000 Rupee note circulated in 2009 was modeled after the Rosenthal photograph, but later confessed that the image was indeed the inspiration.

Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar - 2005

Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar – 2005

Opened in 2006, The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA, was designed to evoke the raising of the flag.

Opened in 2006, The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA, was designed to evoke the raising of the flag.

Album Covers

Bands striking the Iwo Jima pose has become cliché.

Anti-Flag – A New Kind of Army, 1999

Anti-Flag – A New Kind of Army, 1999

Uriah Heep – Conquest, 1980

Uriah Heep – Conquest, 1980

Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove, 1978

Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove, 1978

Savatage – Fight for the Rock, 1986

Savatage – Fight for the Rock, 1986

Rev Theory – Justice, 2011

Rev Theory – Justice, 2011

Canned Heat – Future Blues, 1970

Canned Heat – Future Blues, 1970

Magazines, Comics and Book Covers

The 2008 Time magazine issue on global warming caused a furor when Iwo Jima veterans objected to the alteration of the original photo, calling it “an absolute disgrace”

The 2008 Time magazine issue on global warming caused a furor when Iwo Jima veterans objected to the alteration of the original photo, calling it “an absolute disgrace”

2000 AD comic, 1999

2000 AD comic, 1999

The short-lived Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, 1953

The short-lived Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, 1953

America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney, 2002

America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney, 2002

Speed Comics, 1945

Speed Comics, 1945

Jock magazine, 1969

Jock magazine, 1969

Blackhawk comic, 1983

Blackhawk comic, 1983

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, 2003

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, 2003

Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein, 2007

Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein, 2007

11 Freunde magazine from Germany, 2006

11 Freunde magazine from Germany, 2006

Activism

British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association

British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association

Published in 1971, The New Soldier by John Kerry documented the efforts of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Published in 1971, The New Soldier by John Kerry documented the efforts of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Washington, D.C. Anarchists

Washington, D.C. Anarchists

Energy Action

Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation

Protest against Japan’s toxic waste trade policies in the Philippines

Protest against Japan’s toxic waste trade policies in the Philippines

Editorial Cartoons

Among other commentary, the Iwo Jima pose is regularly used to satirize U.S. foreign policy

NewIwoJima

Iwo Jima oil

iwo-screw

Flag

Clay Bennett CSM

cartoon

Advertisements

Respol YPF

Respol YPF

Grace Elder Care

Grace Elder Care

Australian Tourism

Australian Tourism

The Official British Army Fitness Program

The Official British Army Fitness Program

Pop Culture

Newsweek promotional photo for The Jersey Shore

Newsweek promotional photo for The Jersey Shore

iwo-jima simpsons boy band

homer-flag-looking

Simpsons Large Marge

Simpsons Rosebud

Simpsons Half Decent Proposal

ndicative of its relevance as a cultural touchstone, the Iwo Jima pose has been referenced on The Simpsons at least six times – “New Kid on the Blecch,” “Selma’s Choice,” “LargeMarge,” “Rosebud,” “Half Decent Proposal,” and “Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington.”

Indicative of its relevance as a cultural touchstone, the Iwo Jima pose has been referenced on The Simpsons at least six times – “New Kid on the Blecch,” “Selma’s Choice,” “LargeMarge,” “Rosebud,” “Half Decent Proposal,” and “Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington.”

Dr. Who – “Victory of the Daleks” 2010

Dr. Who – “Victory of the Daleks” 2010

Chuck – “Chuck Versus the Beard” 2010

Chuck – “Chuck Versus the Beard” 2010

Hard Rock Café pin

Hard Rock Café pin

iwojimaBanksy

Work of the graffiti artist Banksy

Work of the graffiti artist Banksy