The naval ensign that was once hoisted on the Japanese battleship “Nagato,” which Combined Fleet Commander-in-Chief Isoroku Yamamoto commanded during World War II, was donated to the Yamamoto Isoroku Memorial Museum in his hometown of Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, by the Battleship Missouri Memorial located in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Oct. 6.
The naval ensign was taken home by a U.S. solider when the Nagato was requisitioned by the U.S. military after the war. Later it was acquired by the Battleship Missouri Memorial and had been kept there since then. In December of last year, when Nagaoka Mayor Tatsunobu Isoda visited Hawaii to attend the memorial service in commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack, he received an offer from the Hawaiian museum to return the flag to Yamamoto’s hometown. Since then, the two sides had been making arrangements to realize the return of the flag.
The donation ceremony was attended by Mayor Isoda, USS Missouri Memorial Association President and CEO Michael A. Carr, and several others. According to the Yamamoto Isoroku Memorial Museum, the naval ensign appears to be the same one that was actually hoisted on the Nagato. “We are grateful that such a precious flag has been donated to us,” said Satoshi [spelling not confirmed] Maruyama, director of the Yamamoto Isoroku Memorial Museum. “We will discuss how to exhibit the artifact and use it for the purpose of peace education.”