The flag was planted on top of Mt. Suribachi with little resistance…at first.
The flag pole was actually an iron rod salvaged from a cistern found on the mountain
Staff Sergeant Low Lowry was a staff photographer for Leatherneck magazine and took the first picture. After attacked by the Japanese he dropped and broke the camera, but the exposed film was salvageable.
While they were retrieving the camera a sword-wielding Japanese officer attacked and was killed by a .45 shot to the head.
The flag was replaced by a larger one, and this larger flag is the one in the famous picture.
Iwo Jima was not in the main theater of the war, but proved to be an important moment in the war.