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Sale 38 Lot 964

DOUGLAS MACARTHUR SIGNED JAPANESE FLAG A historic relic from Japan's surrender in World War II and the American military occupation of Japan, a large Japanese flag signed by Douglas MacArthur at the very center of the flag, and also signed by several dozen reporters and a few officers on September 8, 1945, the very day MacArthur assumed command of the military occupation of Japan that would eventually lead to modern Japan's constitutional government! The flag measures 38 1/2" x 25" and was apparently the property of Life magazine photographer Carl Mydans (1907-2004). Mydans was a friend of MacArthur, and with his wife had been held as a prisoner of the Japanese for two years before being exchanged in time to accompany MacArthur at his famous landing at Leyte. The flag bears only MacArthur's signature at center: "Douglas MacArthur Tokyo 1945", and the surrounding white areas of the flag bear an additional approx. 95 signatures of correspondents and military officers. According to Pulitzer-winning AP photographer Max Desfor who viewed this flag (see he and other correspondents had all gathered at Tokyo's Dai-Ichi Hotel on September 8th to witness MacArthur's arrival in Tokyo and the formal surrender of the government to American control, and it was at the hotel that this flag was signed. Among those signing the flag are CARL MYDANS who dates the flag "Tokyo Sep. 8 [1945]", MAX DESFOR (who recognized his signature), ROBERT TRUMBULL of the New York Times, FRANK FILAN of AP Photos, Chinese reporter NORMAN SOONG, GEORGE H. JOHNSTON of The Argus, Melbourne, Australia, FRANK BARTHOLOMEW of the United Press, JERRY THORP of the Chicago Daily News, Duanne Hennessey of the AP, FRANK ROBERTSON of I.N.S., RUSS MATTHEWS of Time magazine, and many others, representing N.B.C., Yank Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Fawcett Publications, Paramount News, United Press, Reuters, and so on. Several lower-ranking military officers have also signed, including two marines, as well as an unidentified brigadier general attached to headquarters. The white areas of the flag have toned to a light tan color, with three or four scattered negligible tears and the "Mac" in MacArthur's signature is ink eroded, otherwise this relic is nicely framed in gilt wood and entirely presentable. According to our consignor, this is the only known MacArthur-signed Japanese flag known to exist! Although the occupation was nominally an allied enterprise - MacArthur's title was Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, or SCAP - it was very much an American show, and there was no doubt who was in charge. MacArthur deserves a great deal of credit for what most people agree was a highly successful occupation. Initiating some policies and skillfully implementing many others, MacArthur helped a defeated and destroyed nation transform itself with remarkable speed.
Estimate $ 10,000-12,000

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