Help look for the flag

This aerial photo depicts the location of the yacht where the flag was taken as well as a shot of the location of the flag raising.

Story highlights

  • Help look for the flag by sifting through this archived material
  • Go through the footage and look for the flag
  • Follow @CNNFilms on Twitter and use the hashtag #FindTheFlag
  • You can also share your theories in the comments section below
Help look for the flag by checking out the archived material below.
Sept 11, 2001
1. Late in the day on 9/11, Mayor Giuliani brought Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen to the podium at a press conference to inform the public of devastating losses in the FDNY.
2. Early in the afternoon on 9/11, a green corporate flag can be seen hanging from a flagpole that leans against a construction trailer at the corner of West and Liberty. This is the site where the 3 firefighters raised the flag.
3. Afternoon, scenes of corner of West and Liberty:
4. The entire flag raising was captured by NYPD videographer Sgt. Frank Strommer. He was at the site looking for three of his men who were lost in the collapse. At 27:28 the flag raising starts.
5. Late in the evening on 9/11, NYPD detective Thomas Koehler is at the corner of West and Liberty filming evidence tapes. In this tape, the flag is clearly missing at 56 minutes, which means that the flag was taken by 10:30 pm. Who could have taken it? Sometime between 7pm and this video, lights were erected around the container. Perhaps a member of that crew saw the flag--dirty and ragged -- and wanted to save it. The photo wasn't published until the morning of the 12th, so nobody knew the flag was famous.
6. This collection of footage was taken by FDNY cameramen who had unlimited access to Ground Zero to capture the reality experienced by FDNY rank and file as they searched for their brothers in the rubble.
Sept 12, 2001
7. On 9/12, correspondent Scott Pelley describes a firefighter walking by and putting a flag up at Ground Zero. Could this be the flag? The audio begins at 23:52.
9. There were active calls from politicians to fly the American flag. Here, Senator Charles Schumer is seen with Senator Clinton at Ground Zero on 9/12.
10. There were no live cameras at Ground Zero, so networks had cameras with long lenses setup on rooftops blocks away. This ABC live feed late on 9/12 clearly shows the flag pole, but the flag is missing.
11. A flag is raised on the WTC mast by rescue workers. Was the flag moved to this site? Or is it another flag?
12. In an NBC report from 9/12, the flag pole is shown without the flag, and another flag is seen near the rear of an FDNY engine at 2:28. Is is possible that the flag was moved to a fire truck as the site was cleared?
Sept 13, 2001
13. In this live shot from ABC, the container and pole are still at the corner and in the background there is what looks like a flag hanging from the West St. bridge at 5:40.
14. The pole is clearly gone from the trailer at 8:35 AM on 9/13. The FDNY says they retrieved the flag around 9/21-9/22 from that pole, but that's impossible.
15. A flag hangs from a light post at ground Zero on 9/13. Could this be the flag? Or is it another flag -- possibly one raised by FDNY firefighter Mike Dugan on 9/11. The flag is visible at 1:13.
FEMA Photographs Ground Zero
16. After September 12, media access to the Ground Zero Site was restricted to government agencies. In this FEMA collection, there are dozens of flags shown flying at the site -- from buildings, bridges, trucks and ladders. Was the flag moved to a better location?
Sept 23, 2001
17. A flag -- said to be the one in the picture -- is given to the Navy by the Mayor's office at The Prayer for America at Yankee Stadium.
October 20, 2001
18. During the Concert for New York City at Madison Square Garden, Firefighter Mike Moran curses Osama Bin Laden to much applause. FDNY commissioner Thomas Von Essen is also on stage and he was booed by the crowd of relief workers minutes before. A few weeks later, an American Airlines jet crashed near Rockaway Beach -- the neighborhood of Moran and many other firefighters.