Missing iconic ground zero flag to return to site for 9/11 anniversary

Firefighters raise a flag at the World Trade Center in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, as work at the site continues after hijackers crashed two airliners into the center. AP Photo/The Record, Thomas E. Franklin

NEW YORK – An American flag hoisted at ground zero hours after the Sept. 11 terror attacks has taken its place at the World Trade Center complex after disappearing for more than a decade.

The 3-foot-by-5-foot flag went on display Thursday at the National Sept. 11 Museum. The museum’s president, Joe Daniels, calls it “one of the most emotionally and historically powerful” artifacts in the collection.

WATCH: U.S. House members marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 by remarks from politicians as well as singing “God Bless America.”

Click to play video: 'US Congress mark 15th anniversary of 9/11 with tribute'
US Congress mark 15th anniversary of 9/11 with tribute

The flag was the centerpiece of a photo that became a defining image of patriotic perseverance. The image shows three firefighters raising the flag over the rubble.

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Two years ago, the flag was turned in by an as-yet-unidentified man at a firehouse in Everett, Washington.

Examinations indicated it was indeed the same Star Spangled Banner.

A documentary about it airs Sunday on the History Channel.

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