The iconic photograph of firefighters raising the American flag in the rubble of the World Trade Center was almost excluded from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum because it was too “rah-rah America,” according to a new book.
That’s the description attributed to museum creative director Michael Shulan in the new “Battle for Ground Zero” by author Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month, the New York Post reported.
“I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,” Shulan said.
Ultimately, according to the book, a compromise was worked out to include Thomas Franklin’s famous photograph along with two other images showing the flag-raising from different angles.
“Several images undercut the myth of ‘one iconic moment,’ [chief curator Jan Ramirez] said, and suggest instead an event from multiple points of view, like the attacks more broadly,” the book states, according to The Post.
Shulan, who was living in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, told the newspaper his aim was to “not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”