2012 45¢ Flag and "Freedom"
Four Flags Coil
Issue Date: February 22, 2012
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
In the morning sunlight of December 7, 1941, the men of the USS Nevada stood in formation as the flag was raised and the national anthem was sung. Japanese planes flew over, raining bullets and bombs on the ships anchored in Pearl Harbor, but the disciplined sailors did not break formation.
As soon as the flag-raising ceremony was completed, the crew manned their stations against the unrelenting attacks. They watched helplessly as the USS Arizona sank, carrying most of its sailors to a watery grave.
The planes left after hours of destruction. The smoke cleared to reveal the remains of the Arizona, with her flag still flying, a symbol of hope and freedom in the midst of despair.
Almost four years later, the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945, and World War II ended. The flag flying above the White House that day was the flag from the Arizona.
The United States flag from the Pearl Harbor attack was also present when the United Nations Charter was written and signed in San Francisco, California, in 1945. An American symbol of strength and determination was witness to the beginning of an organization dedicated to peace and freedom throughout the world.