Arizona and New Mexico were just added to the union bringing the total number of stars on the flag to 48. After a brief but intense firefight with the last Japanese defenders on Mt. Suribachi the original flag (an ensign from the USS Missoula measuring 28” x 54”) was raised. A larger flag followed shortly after (from the LST-779 measuring 56” x 96”) and is the one shown in the photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal.
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