Movie About One Of The Most Iconic Moments In American History Doesn’t Feature American Flag

John Wellington | Digital Content Manager

The upcoming film about Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s iconic moonwalk does not feature arguably the most important moment of the entire event.

“First Man,” starring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling and directed by Damien Chazelle, does not feature a scene of the American flag being planted on the moon’s surface because Armstrong’s accomplishment “transcended countries and borders,” according to Gosling.

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“I think this was widely regarded, in the end, as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it” Gosling argued. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again, he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true.”

Gosling continued to say that he doesn’t think “Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

“I’m Canadian, so might have cognitive bias” Gosling joked.

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At the time, in 1969, there was a heated debate about whether the flag planted on the moon would be an American or a United Nations Flag.

“In the end, it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project,” Neil Armstrong said of the decision. “We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a U.S. flag.”

“My job was to get the flag there. I was less concerned about whether that was the right artifact to place. I let other wiser minds than mine make those kinds of decisions.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio weighed in on the issue on Twitter.


The film is set to hit theaters October 12, 2018, and currently has an 89-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

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