New Book Reveals Mysterious Journey of Iconic Stars and Stripes Captured in Memorial Photo from the Day of Terror

NEW YORK, NY, September 09, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Lifelong New Yorker Shirley Dreifus, who is also a survivor of the September 11th attacks, announces the release of her long-anticipated book The 9/11 Flag: Borrowed, Stolen, Recovered. This book sheds light on the highly captivating and mysterious journey of the iconic flag hoisted above the ruins of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of that fateful day.

The book will be released for sale at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan. It can also be purchased on and as an eBook on (The website also links to Amazon)

“I want the book to help heal our country,” says Shirley Dreifus, the book’s author, and the original owner of the flag. “Let us become the country of 9/11, one in which we worked together and were not divided by race, religion or political party. Let us become a great country again. If my book can help accomplish this just a little, I will be happy.”

The breathtaking photo featuring three firefighters proudly raising Old Glory quickly circulated around the world. It is seared in our collective memories as a symbol of unity, hope, and triumph over unimaginable tragedy. The 9/11 Flag, later to become known as the Ground Zero Flag, was originally taken from The Star of America—a yacht owned by Ms. Dreifus and her husband Spiros Kopelakis—from its dock at North Cove Marina across the street from the Twin Towers.

Little did Shirley and her husband, now deceased, know that the iconic moment, captured by photographer Thomas Franklin, was the beginning of the flag’s long journey—one that still remains shrouded in mystery. From its immediate disappearance in the wake of the attacks to its unexpected recovery thirteen years later, questions still remain.

Capturing the Essence of the Story

• Subsequent to flying at Ground Zero, the flag was allegedly unfurled at Yankee Stadium and autographed by Governor Pataki and Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg and flown on naval ships in the Middle East.

• Upon its return to City Hall in 2002, it turned out to be the wrong flag. The original one measured 3 feet by 5 feet and the autographed one measured 5 feet by 8 feet.

• A 2013 CNN documentary, The Flag, investigated the mystery of the missing 9/11 icon and provided proof that the Ground Zero flag went missing just hours after it was raised above the rubble of the WTC.

• After viewing an episode devoted to the 9/11 Flag on the History Channel, a veteran and flag collector turned in the flag to the firehouse in Everett, Washington. A painstaking nearly two-year forensic investigation ensued, with the overwhelming conclusion that the item returned by the veteran was the original Ground Zero Flag.

• After the flag was authenticated, Shirley Dreifus graciously agreed to donate the iconic treasure to the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. It’s currently on permanent display there to the public.

“It took me years to recover from the attacks on our nation and years to write this book chronicling the mostly unknown history of the 9/11 Flag,” adds Shirley Dreifus. “We are approaching the sad anniversary at a time when our country is more divided than ever before. I am hoping this book will bring history to life by telling the story of the iconic flag stolen right after the attacks. Furthermore, I would like this book to serve as an inspiration to unite people and remind everyone that despite differences and disagreements, we have much in common. We should work to achieve unity, tolerance and understanding, just as we did after 9/11.”

Donations to The Never Forget Fund, established by the Museum to help it overcome the financial losses from the prolonged Covid pandemic, will be made from website and Amazon Kindle eBook sales.

For more information, please contact:
[email protected], phone: 212-300-5270. or [email protected], phone: (516) 724-4372

For the original version of this press release, please visit here