Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

More Dishonest “Heritage”: Photoshop Phun Edition

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 10, 2018

If you follow the debates over the public display of the Confederate Battle Flag online, you’ve likely seen this image (right), purportedly showing a World War II Marine in the Pacific. Why, the argument goes, if the Confederate flag was good enough for the Greatest Generation, are you precious librul snowflakes all up in arms about it?

You can see this image in about a bajillion places. But it turns out that this is (yet another) little bit of dishonesty from the True Southrons™.

As Corey Meyer noted recently on the Facebook machine, the image has been Photoshopped to replace the United States flag with the Confederate one. Here’s the original, via the U.S. Marine Corps Archives on Flickr:

Marine Corps Archives caption:

The Stars and Stripes on Shuri Castle-Marine Lieutenant Colonel R.P. Ross, Jr., of Frederick, Md., plants the American flag on one of the remaining ramparts of ancient Shuri castle on Okinawa. This banner was the same that the First Marine Division raised at Cape Gloucester and at Peleliu. The flagpole is a Japanese staff that was battered and bent by American shellfire.

And here’s the Confederate flag that’s been Photoshopped into it:

Here they are together:

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if you have to make up phony evidence to support your “heritage,” it’s not worth saving.


13 Responses

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  1. kbrown2225 said, on February 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks Andy, outstanding, as usual!

  2. melanie said, on February 10, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for calling them out on their nonsense, Andy.

  3. Nick Sacco said, on February 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Exploring the Past and commented:
    It might help to take a training session on using photoshop before attempting to make lame “heritage” memes. Great work from Andy Hall.

  4. Carl Jón Denbow said, on February 18, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Great detective work, Andy. Now what about the claim that a U.S. warship used the CSA naval jack for the duration of WWII? I suspect that’s a fake claim as well.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 18, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      There are lots of real photos that document use of Confederate flags by U.S. military personnel in WWII and other conflicts. So it did happen, and I don’t think it’s especially telling. There may have been a ship that flew one from time to time, maybe going into action. Would not have been unusual, which is why I have to wonder, why bother faking it?

    • Andy Hall said, on February 18, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      One thing I’ve noticed also is that when people observe something once or twice, they often remember it later as happening “all the time” or “every day.” So that plays into memories as well.

      There were a lot of ships (both military and civilian, like Liberty ships) named for famous Confederates, and I’d be surprised if some of them didn’t fly a (highly unofficial) CS flag.

      • Carl Jón Denbow said, on February 18, 2020 at 4:36 pm

        You might get away with on some small landing craft or something of that nature, particularly if it was manned almost entirely of unreconstructed rebel descendants. But, on a ship even as big as a DE, it seems to me highly unlikely, except in very rare instances, and then not for very long.

        • Andy Hall said, on February 18, 2020 at 4:41 pm

          I don’t recall seeing one flying from a ship, but I still think it could easily have happened. And I can see commanders letting that slide if they saw it as something that boosted moral.

          Remember that in WWII the Navy was mostly segregated still, with African Americans, Asians and others usually relegated to service as cooks and mess attendants. That’s what Dorie Miller was.

        • Andy Hall said, on February 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

          Casual use of Confederate iconography used to be VERY common.

          • Carl Jón Denbow said, on February 18, 2020 at 11:49 pm

            Putting it on a personal coffee mug is a tad different than flying it on a U.S. warship. You could be subject to court martial for that. I still haven’t seen proof this was ever done, though I concede it could have been done for brief periods on very small vessels.

  5. Ken said, on November 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    The picture is obviously photoshopped as you well displayed. Regarding a confederate flag flying over Shuri Castle on Okinawa:

    “Earlier in the morning Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines had attacked eastward into the ruins of Shuri Castle and had raised the Confederate flag. When we learned that the flag of the Confederacy had been hoisted over the very heart and soul of Japanese resistance, all of us Southerners cheered loudly. The Yankees among us grumbled, and the Westerners didn’t know what to do. Later we learned that the Stars and Stripes that had flown over Guadalcanal were raised over Shuri Castle, a fitting tribute to the men of the 1st Marine Division who had the honor of being first into the Japanese citadel.”

    E.B. Sledge, With The Old Breed

    I don’t know whether he’s saying that the Confederate flag was raised first then replaced by the Guadalcanal Stars and Stripes, or if they had been mistaken earlier. But this could be a point of confusion about the incident.

    • Andy Hall said, on November 15, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks for commenting. I’m aware of the other (real) incident, and other cases of the Confederate flag being displayed by U.S. military personnel in different conflict. There are enough real cases to cite that I have no idea why someone would go the trouble of creating a fake one.

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