A US association has returned the naval flag of a battleship commanded by a prominent Japanese naval officer during World War Two.

The president and chief executive officer of the USS Missouri Memorial Association in Hawaii handed the flag to the head of a Japanese museum on Friday, October 5.

The ensign measures 2.6 meters by 4 meters and belonged to the battleship Nagato of the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Japanese museum is dedicated to Isoroku Yamamoto. He was the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, which included the Nagato. The museum is in the city of Nagaoka, the birthplace of Yamamoto.

The flag was taken from the vessel by a US soldier immediately after the war, and later went into storage at a museum run by the US association. Last December, the association reportedly offered to donate it to the Japanese museum.

The association’s president and CEO, Michael Carr, said he hopes more Japanese will learn about the story of the Missouri, which is a symbol of peace.

The Japanese museum’s chief, Satoshi Maruyama, said he was moved when he touched the flag.

(Screengrab from NHK)