Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

The Red Flag over the Reichstag

with 9 comments

Le drapeau de la victoire


Directly inspired by Joe Rosenthal’s photo of raising the flag on Iwo Jima, Stalin ordered the Ukrainian photographer Yevgeny Khaldei take a similar photo that would symbolize the Soviet victory over Germany. Khaldei hired his family friend, Israil Solomonovich Kishitser, to make three flags for him which he made from red tablecloths. Khaldei photographed the first flag being raised at the airport, and the second flag being raised at the Brandenburg gate.

However, Khaldei sadly found out that the Soviet soldiers had already succeeded in raising a flag over the Reichstag a few days earlier. Yet, he recruited a small group of soldiers and, on May 2, 1945, proceeded to recreate the scene. On close examination, the censors noticed that one of the soldiers had a wristwatch on each arm, indicating he had been looting. Khaldei not only removed the watches from the photo, but also darkened the smoke in the background (right) to make his picture more dramatic. The resulting picture(below) was published soon after in the magazine Ogonjok to achieved worldwide fame.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

April 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

9 Responses

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  1. […] image from the Ukrainian-born photojournalist Yevgeny Khaldei, who was famous for his photograph of the red flag above the Reichstag. Khaldei loved to document everyday life juxtaposed against images of war: he photographed a […]

  2. […] known for his Reichstag flag rising picture, Yevgeny Khaldei (1917-1997) was the premier Red Army photographer from 1939 to 1948. Eventually, […]

  3. There is actually a painting of the first raising of the flag, at least according to this site:

    Famous pictures flag on the Reichstag


    February 8, 2010 at 3:59 am

  4. It is this a real photo? If yes, then this is a very great one. I can’t imagine what the photographer felt in his position.

    house garden

    June 8, 2010 at 4:03 am

  5. […] found this amazing story over iconicphotos on the famous photograph “The red flag over the Reichstag”, shot by Yevgeny Khaldei: […]


    November 26, 2011 at 8:48 am

  6. […] Sobre uma imagem ” ícone do séc. XX” e sua produção (manipulação/fabricação) https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/the-red-flag-over-the-reichstag-2/#comments […]

  7. […] a group of black men falsely accused of rape in 1931. On May Day in 1945, soldiers from the Red Army raised a red flag over the Reichstag in Berlin to symbolize the defeat of Nazism and the end of World War II. In 1975, thousands marched in Boston […]

  8. Reblogged this on Drshoman2009's Blog.


    January 29, 2013 at 4:06 am

  9. Hello to every one, it’s inn fact a pleasant
    for me to visit this site, it includes precious Information.


    August 26, 2014 at 8:23 am

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