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Eastwood's Iwo JimaCritical Engagements with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima$
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Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165655

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165655.001.0001

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Following the Flag in American Film

Following the Flag in American Film

(p.81) Following the Flag in American Film
Eastwood's Iwo Jima

Robert Eberwein

Columbia University Press

This chapter traces the importance of and historical change in the representation of the American flag in U.S. war cinema and examines the problematic aspects of another flag raising that functioned as a symbolic indication of American victory over Japan. From the short film The American Flag in 1896 to Flags of Our Fathers in 2006, it highlights some key moments in film history. More specifically, it chronicles the flag’s trajectory from simple colorful glory to increasingly complex representations. Through readings of this motif in several movies, including Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Patton (1970), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), the chapter offers a historical view of the flag raising theme.

Keywords:   war cinema, American flag, flag raising, Japan, The American Flag, Flags of Our Fathers, film history, Sands of Iwo Jima, Patton, Born on the Fourth of July

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