Photo Finish: Wu-Tang — Iron Flag (2001)

Today we’re introducing a new section called Photo Finish. The idea behind it is simple. We want to showcase the before-and-after of a cover starting with a photograph all the way to the final cover. Simple, yet cool—take a look.

To set it off, we decided to feature Wu-Tang's 2001 album cover, "Iron Flag" seen below. It depicts the whole Clan raising the Wu flag, a scene clearly inspired by Joe Rosenthal’s "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima". The cover was shot by NYC based photographer Michael Lavine and with art direction Julian Alexander of Slang Inc.

Photo Finish: Wu-Tang — Iron Flag (2001)

Below are the words of Julian Alexander himself as he describes the story behind Wu-Tang's "Iron Flag" cover.

To pull the cover off a few fixes had to be made. The W logo was inverted on the flag and had to be fixed digitally. My next move was to add creases to the photo to make it feel like a valued relic. The stenciled type was chosen to carry on the military theme. Lastly, Cappadonna wasn’t on the final album and had to be removed from the cover (look between Raekwon and RZA on both versions).
— Julian Alexander

Original Photo

Double Take: Wu-Tang — Iron Flag (2001)

Photo: Michael Lavine

A special thanks goes out to Julian Alexander for letting us reference his previously published article off his blog.

If you're interested in becoming a contributor/guest blogger and have an idea for a Photo Finish cover, please hit us up.