A particularly symbolic Stars and stripes

When Japan formally surrendered to the United States in 1945 on board the USS Missouri, they did so in the presence of a specific Stars and Stripes banner, framed, on the walls of that ship. What flag was used, given the particular symbolism of that moment? [Hint: Nothing to do with World War II.]

Answer: (select the text below to show)

This was the same flag flown by the flagship Commodore Matthew Perry‘s fleet as they entered Tokyo Bay in 1853, when the United States triggered the Meiji Restoration, which ultimately led to the rise of Japan as a military and colonial power that, during World War II, attempted to seize all of Asia.

To see a picture of the surrender ceremony, click here and search for “Perry” on the page.

Question by Rishi Iyengar