One of the hundreds of images that one saw on 9/11 stood out to most of the world. The iconic image of three firefighters raising looking up at an American flag has been a symbol of hope and strength to all Americans. It was an image shown around the world, made into sculptures, and has become the symbol and pride of the American spirit even during hard times.
The small flag, that was removed from a yacht nearby, disappeared right after it was raised. Although tragedy loomed that day, mystery surrounded as to why the flag disappeared. It was such a mystery that a film was made by CNN in 2013 titled “The Flag”.
A week after 9/11 an officer was sent to pick up the flag, but it was not the original. He was handed a much larger flag that was flown at prior events. What was supposed to be the iconic flag that would have so much meaning in New York City and American history, was taken over by another flag, flying at Yankee Stadium during the 9/11 prayer service, and even flew over the USS Roosevelt.
One day, out of nowhere, a man only named “Brian”, who was a retired marine, showed up to the local fire station in Everett, Washington with the flag in 2014. Brian stated that he had been given the flag on Veterans day in 2007 by a man who was given it by a widow of one of the 343 firefighters who passed that day. Why he decided to return the flag at a local fire station is as much a mystery as it’s disappearance.
The flag went through forensic tests to confirm it’s authenticity, and with weeks of examination, the flag’s fiber and dust matched one from a fire truck at Grand Zero, making it the original flag.
So after 15 years, the flag was packaged and return back home to New York City, will it will be on display at the entrance of the 9/11 memorial and museum for years to come.
Featured Image Via Reuters