Maybe it should be called Flags of Their Fathers.
James Bradley based his World War II book, Flags of Our Fathers—which inspired the movie of the same name—on one of the most famous photographs of all time. In it, six U.S. servicemen hoist a flag over the Japanese island Iwo Jima. One of those servicemen, according to its caption, was James’ father, John Bradley.
Or maybe not.
The U.S. Marines are now investigating whether two of the men in that photo—including the one labeled John Bradley—were misidentified.
“The Marine Corps is examining information provided by a private organization related to Joe Rosenthal's Associated Press photograph of the second flag raising on Iwo Jima,” the Corps wrote in a statement.
The controversy started after two amateur historians, Eric Krelle and Stephen Foley, shared their research with the Omaha-World Herald. Their research suggests that the man identified as John Bradley was actually Franklin Sousley, and the one identified as Sousley was Harold Schultz—meaning Bradley may not have been there at all.
Meanwhile, the six servicemen continue to appear on U.S. stamps and even in the statue in front of Arlington National Cemetery—so it’d be nice to know who they are.