A recreation of the famous Iwo Jima photo that replaced the American flag with a gay pride flag has received a bevy of criticism.
The controversial photo is recreated from Joe Rosenthal's iconic photo that netted him a Pulitzer Prize. The original picture, taken in 1945, features five service members placing the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and is recreated at the Marine Corps War Memorial outside Washington, D.C.
After the recreated photo went viral following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage last Friday, a number of people on social media criticized it for trying to equate the struggle for gay marriage with that of military hardship.
"The gay flag remake of the flag that flew at Iwo Jima is just insulting to America and those who have died for this country," one person tweeted.
Another person tweeted that "to make old glory rainbow and mock the famous iwo jima picture is just wrong."
Fox News host Megyn Kelly also bashed the recreated photo, saying the original photo is a "sacred, sacred memory."
"[I]t shouldn't be messed with really by anyone for any purpose," she said Wednesday.
For all the attention the viral photo has received over the past week, it may surprise some to learn the photo is actually 10 years old.
The photo was originally designed by Ed Freeman for Frontier Magazine, a gay magazine.
Freeman, who is gay, reposted the photo on Facebook last Friday after the Supreme Court's decision.
"When I took this picture almost ten years ago, it never, never occurred to me that it would someday come to symbolize the victory we are celebrating today," his post read.
Freeman told the Washington Post he is surprised by how much attention the photo has received. He said the photo is not comparing the struggle for gay rights with struggles on the battlefield.
"This is not meant as a sign of disrespect. For God's sake, no. I totally support people in uniform. There is no comparison going on here," he said.
He said the comparison is being made by those "spoiling for a fight."
"They're already on edge because of the gay marriage decision."