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Iwo Jima Vet: Time Magazine Cover 'a Disgrace'

It’s become a visual meme in our culture, but some World War II veterans don’t believe that Joe Rosenthal’s seminal image of Americans hoisting the flag on Mount Suribachi should be appropriated or altered in any way. In fact, some vets, like Donald Mates, believe repurposing the photo, as Time magazine has just done for an issue about global warming, is tantamount to blasphemy.


Business & Media Institute:

The cover of the April 21 issue of Time took the famous Iwo Jima photograph by Joe Rosenthal of the Marines raising the American flag and replaced the flag with a tree. The cover story by Bryan Walsh calls green “the new red, white and blue.”

Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran, told the Business & Media Institute on April 17 that using that photograph for that cause was a “disgrace.”

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” Mates said. “Whoever did it is going to hell. That’s a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor.”

Mates also said making the comparison of World War II to global warming was erroneous and disrespectful.

“The second world war we knew was there,” Mates said. “There’s a big discussion. Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t. And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”

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