Performing civic identity: The iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima

Robert Hariman, John Louis Lucaites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Iconic photographs are widely recognized as representations of significant historical events, activate strong emotional response, and are reproduced across a range of media, genres, or topics. The appeal of the iconic image of a group of Marines raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima arises from its embodiment of three discourses of political identity - egalitarianism, nationalism, and civic republicanism. Its appropriations reflect a range of public attitudes - civic piety, irony, nostalgia, and cynicism. The role of visual icons in constructing civic attitudes to mediate historical events was underscored by the use of the flag-raising image following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-392
Number of pages30
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Icons
  • Identity
  • Ideology
  • Performance
  • Political emotion
  • Public sphere
  • Visual rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education


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