Are the Taliban mocking the US with recreated iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo?

Aug 23, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Are the Taliban mocking the US with recreated iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo?

Aug 23, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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The Taliban unit has published a photo that shows a group of soldiers raising a flag together. Sounds familiar? It’s a recreation of the iconic Joe Rosenthal’s image, depicting six U.S. marines raising the country’s flag on Iwo Jima in World War II. However, the Taliban version was reportedly made to mock the U.S., which has sparked a lot of rage across the country. Still, things may not be as they seem at first, and some sources claim that the photo was photoshopped.

As you have probably heard, the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of the U.S. forces after 20 years of war. According to the New York Post, the staged image shows the members of an elite unit known as Badri 313 Battalion raising the Taliban flag. The soldiers are wearing the American equipment, and the image was reportedly made to mock the U.S. and as a part of Taliban propaganda.

However, reading some comments on the image, it may not be exactly as it seems. Some people say that the photo has been circulating for a while. But instead of the Taliban flag, the original showed the Afghanistan flag. Many netizens claim that they’ve seen the image before. Some of them note that the flag looks photoshopped if you take a closer look.

If it was photoshopped, we have to stop for a moment and ask ourselves why and by whom. I think we’re all emotional about topics like this, and media or PR often use doctored images to play with our emotions. So, I’ll use this photo as a reminder to always fact-check and to think rationally before we raise the pitchforks and torches.

Personally, I have no idea if the photo is doctored or not, as it’s too blurry for me to see enough detail. If you can see more than I can, please do share your opinion as I still haven’t found the official confirmation.

[via The Independent; image credits: Brandon Sorensen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Are the Taliban mocking the US with recreated iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo?”

  1. g_discus Avatar
    g_discus

    It’s a fake. Pole and fabric are too white. There is no another white elements.

  2. Justin Case Avatar
    Justin Case

    It really doesn’t matter if it’s a fake or not. It is undoubtedly meant to taunt us – and frankly, who can blame them. It’s easy to taunt us because we are sensitive to our failure and negligence. We’ve achieved exactly nothing by all the death, destruction, general waste, pollution and lack of global security that is a direct result of these deeply unwise foreign campaigns.

  3. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Consider what we did to place the flag during WWII (and it is not the original flag set on Mt. Suribachi, it was a photo op). So also see what the Taliban are and the whole thing is moot.