Pearl Jam Boldly Flip American Flag Upside Down

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Pearl Jam have released a new ‘Condition Critical’ t-shirt depicting the iconic Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photo, but with the American flag flipped upside down. The shirt was first sold at the band’s show in Amsterdam, and it will continue to be sold on their summer 2018 European tour. You can view a photo of the shirt below.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is an iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945, which depicts six United States Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, during the Battle of Iwo Jima, in World War II.

The photograph was first published in Sunday newspapers on February 25, 1945. It was extremely popular and was reprinted in thousands of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and came to be regarded in the United States as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war.

Three Marines in the photograph, Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block (misidentified as Sergeant Hank Hansen until January 1947), and Private First Class Franklin Sousley were killed in action over the next few days. The other three surviving flag-raisers in the photograph were Corporals (then Private First Class) Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and Harold Schultz (misidentified as PhM2c. John Bradley until June 2016). Both men originally misidentified as flag raisers had helped raise a smaller flag about 90 minutes earlier, and were both still on the mountaintop and witnessed – but were not part of – the specific moment of raising the larger flag that was captured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. All men were under the command of Brigadier General Harry B. Liversedge.

The image was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial, which was dedicated in 1954 to all Marines who died for their country and is located in Arlington Ridge Park, near the Ord-Weitzel Gate to Arlington National Cemetery and the Netherlands Carillon.

  • Olga Stewart

    I find the flag t-shirt to be disrespectful.

  • TheWrathofCaan

    Thank God there are musicians still making good old-fashioned protest music in these uncertain times. I would proudly wear that t-shirt. True patriotism is exercising your opposition through art, not threats or violence.