US War Memorial Built based on Joe Rosenthal's classic Iwo Jima Picture
It was brought to the attention of Saini Online via reliable media reports that the name of the website was dragged into unnecessary controversy. The point of objection in some circles, mostly American war veterans, seemed to be that Saini Online and another website allegedly "tampered" American national flag to replace it with Indian tricolour in Joe Rosenthal's classic Iwo Jima image. It was also reported that Saini Online was engaged in the promotion of Independence Day parade by a section of Indian diaspora in the US by using this "tampered" image. Further to this Saini Online was reported to have removed the image when representatives of American war veterans contacted them.
For the recored , all of these statements are factually incorrect. Saini Online has to this date has received no communication from veterans advocate Jeri LaMorte-Kopin nor did Saini Online remove the allegedly "tampered" Iwo Jima image.
While Saini Online is sensitive and respectful of the sentiments of brave and patriotic American soldiers whose most heroic sacrifice is immortalized by this classic image, we feel our duty to explain our motivation in using the modified image. To call a work "tampered" or "tranformative" is entirely a matter of subjectivity but we believe latter to be the inspiration behind the artistic license we used dwith due discretion to make a philosophical and cultural point.
Far from intending to show any slight to the American flag , our true intent was to honour it. The major idea behind this transformative work was to honour the brave but unsung Indian soldiers who fought as American allies during the world war II. The same page also carries the picture and gallantry citation of Sub. Pritam Singh Saini who won the Indian Order of Merit and died heroically fighting the same enemy during World War II as the American warriors who raised the star spangled banner at Iwo Jima.