POW / MIA Flag
In 1971, Mrs. Mary Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs. The flag is black, bearing in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the League. The emblem is a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man, watch tower with a guard holding a rifle, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
The flag has been altered many times; the colors have been switched from black with white – to red, white and blue, – to white with black; the POW/MIA has at times been revised to MIA/POW.
On March 9,1989, a POW/MIA Flag, which flew over the White House on the 1988 National POW/MIA Recognition Day, was installed in the United States Capitol Rotunda as a result of legislation passed overwhelmingly during the 100th session of Congress. The leadership of both Houses hosted the installation ceremony in a demonstration of bipartisan congressional support. This POW/MIA Flag, the only flag displayed in the United States Capitol Rotunda, stands as a powerful symbol of our national commitment to our POW/MIAs until the fullest possible accounting for Americans still missing in Southeast Asia has been achieved.
On August 10,1990, the 101st Congress passes U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag and designating it “as a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.” Beyond Southeast Asia, it has been a symbol for POW/MIAs from all American Wars.
With the passage of Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act during the first term of the 105th Congress, the….. ‘POW/MIA Flag’ will fly each year on:
Armed Forces Day – (Third Saturday in May)
Memorial Day – (Last Monday in May)
Flag Day – June 14
Independence Day – July 4
National POW/MIA Recognition Day – September 19
Veterans Day – November 11
The POW/MIA Flag will be flown on the grounds or the public lobbies of major military installations as designated by the Secretary of Defense, all Federal National Cemeteries, the National Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the White House, the United States Post Offices and at official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, and Director of the Selective Service System. Civilians are free to fly the POW/MIA Flag whenever they wish.