06/16/2015 01:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Brief (and Highly Suspect) History of the ISIS Flag


The ISIS flag has fast become one of the world's most ubiquitous and recognizable images, but few know about its true origins and history. Here's a pictorial look at the central symbol of the Islamic State movement.

The ISIS flag was first found by archaeologists at a Cretaceous-era dig, where it was, to the astonishment of scholars, perfectly preserved and still in the claws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the earliest known militant. [photo by Paul Iorio]

In the modern era, the flag is thought to have first emerged decades ago in a John Wayne movie, "True Grit." Here we see Wayne interrogating a couple Islamic State suspects. [photo by Paul Iorio]

In an ill-conceived product roll-out, the ISIS marketing department designed a line of ISIS-flag toilet paper, discontinued after the Caliphate deemed it "haram." [photo by Paul Iorio]

Highly flammable and handy, the flag has been used for kindling in campfires, bonfires and public burnings of infidels. [photo by Paul Iorio]

Those who think militants use knives only for executions have obviously not tried ISIS' line of precision cutlery (which comes with a cutting board and sharpening steel). [photo by Paul Iorio]

Out of coffee filters? A paper ISIS flag will do. (And make sure you ask for decaf, not decap!) [photo by Paul Iorio]

Briefly pandering to Western recruits, the ISIS flag once incorporated an irreverent image from TV's "South Park." [concept, montage by Paul Iorio, using the "bear" character from "South Park"]

Was the ISIS flag on Calvary during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Impossible to verify, but this speculative rendering -- based on an image from the recent movie "Son of God" -- seems to support the claim. [photo by Paul Iorio]

Taking a page from the National Lampoon of the 1970s, militants once tried this recruitment gambit. [concept, montage by Paul Iorio; based on the famous National Lampoon magazine cover of January 1973.]

"The Three Stooges Versus the Caliphate" is a long-lost comedy in which the Stooges use slapstick antics to battle militants. No known print exists. [photo by Paul Iorio; concept and montage by Paul Iorio, based on a frame of the Farrelly brothers' film "The Three Stooges."]