Twitter uproar over rainbow Iwo Jima flag

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A rainbow flag version of the famous Iwo Jima flag photo has caused controversy.

The original photograph shows US Marines raising the Stars and Stripes flag over the battlefield of Iwo Jima in Japan. The alternate version is a group of men raising a rainbow flag.

Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 16.12.41
Photo: Joe Rosenthal, Ed Freeman

The image was used to celebrate the US Supreme Court’s ruling legalising same-sex marriage, and caused a huge uproar on Twitter with people finding it “disrespectful”.

“Replacing the soldiers on Iwo Jima standing up the American flag with the gay pride flag is disrespectful,” wrote Twitter user Mitchell Moyers.

Evan Moriyama wrote: “They really recreated the Iwo Jima flag with the gay flag. Just stop.”

Another user “AmericanMuscle” wrote: “6821 people died in Iwo Jima, over 19,000 wounded. Apparently that ain’t nothing compared to gay people’s struggle huh.”

Ed Freeman, the photographer who altered the image, created the photo a decade ago.

It recently came into the spotlight with the US Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

He told the Washington Post he had received a death threat that he had forwarded to the FBI: “He said if he ever saw me, he’d kill me. I got swamped with vitriolic hate mail.”

Joe Rosenthal was the original photographer in 1945. Three of the Marines pictured in the photograph died in combat. There were also nearly 7,000 U.S servicemen who died in Iwo Jima.