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9/11 Mystery: Where's the Iconic American Flag That Was Famously Hoisted by Firefighters at Ground Zero?

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"This is the icon of the century, this flag and it is not any excuse, from any politician, not to try to find this flag."

The missing flag that became an icon following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks (Photo Credit: Thomas E. Franklin/AP)

The mystery continues over an iconic American flag that apparently disappeared from Ground Zero following the horrific Sept. 11 terror attacks.

It was widely believed that the flag, which was famously hoisted above the World Trade Center wreckage, had journeyed from its pole at the site to the New York Yankees stadium and, later, to the USS Theodore Roosevelt during U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan, the Daily Mail notes.

But a new CNN documentary called "The Flag," calls all of this into question. Deputing on Sept. 4, the film will highlight claims that the famed and iconic flag actually disappeared shortly after it was photographed.

The banner that toured the nation -- and the world -- after the attack, according to those who know the intimate details, simply wasn't the same one that appeared in the aforementioned photograph.

The film's directors, Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, interviewed Shirley Dreifus and Spiros Kopelakis, the original owners of the 9/11 flag. Their claims are the basis for the movie.

"That’s not the flag that they raised on 9/11. The flag that went to Yankee Stadium, or was on the ship [the USS Roosevelt], could not have been the flag that was in the photograph,” Dreifus said, according to a press release distributed by CNN.

Dreifus and Kopelakis noticed that something was wrong when they received the flag that was touted as being from Ground Zero and noticed that it was much bigger than the original. After they sent the traveling flag back to city hall, it, too, was apparently lost.

Here's a preview of the documentary:

In addition to speaking with the flag's owners, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is consulted, as are fire fighters, police and others who were at the scene. These sources, according to CNN, will cover the powerful photo, while exploring where it potentially ended up.

"This is the icon of the century, this flag and it is not any excuse, from any politician, not to try to find this flag," Kopelakis said of the missing flag.

Tucker and Epperlein believe that a first responder might have taken down the flag and kept it as a souvenir, the Daily Mail notes. CNN footage the evening of 9/11 apparently shows that the flag pole was already empty, meaning that the original was hoisted for only hours before someone removed it.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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