POW/MIA Flag as a Recognized Symbol

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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. Prompted by an article in the Jacksonville, Florida TIMES-UNION, Mrs. Hoff contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice-President of Annin & Company which had made a banner for the newest member of the United Nations, the People's Republic of China, as a part of their policy to provide flags to all UN member nations. Mrs. Hoff found Mr. Rivkees very sympathetic to the POW/MIA issue, and he, along with Annin's advertising agency, designed a flag to represent our missing men. Following League approval, the flags were manufactured for distribution.

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.

Concerned groups and individuals have altered the original POW/MIA Flag 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. Such changes, however, are insignificant. The importance lies in the continued visibility of the symbol, a constant reminder of the plight of America's POW/MIA'S.

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, which recognized the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag and designated 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.

The importance of the National Legue of Families POW/MIA Flag lies in its continued visibility, a constant reminder of the plight of America's POW/MIAs. Other than Old Glory, the POW/MIA Flag is the only flag ever to fly over the White House, having been displayed in the place of honor on National POW/MIA Recognition Day since 1982.

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 - 3rd Saturday of May
Memorial Day - Last Monday of May
Flag Day - June 14th
Independence Day - July 4th
National POW/MIA Recognition Day - 3rd Friday of September
Veterans Day - November 11th

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.

National League of POW/MIA Families

Call the League update line for the latest information, 24-hours a day:

(202) 659-0133

To make inquiries, call: (202) 223-6846

e-mail: info@pow-miafamilies.org, or write:

National League of POW/MIA Families
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite #919
Washington DC 20036-5504


Visit them on the Web at: http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/

For comments on this page please e-mail: sales@gmasw.com

Gary D. Moore
5161 Howard Road
Smiths Creek, MI 48074-2023

Update: August 9, 2011 - Site established February 2002