December 03, 2018

Senators Warren and Cotton Introduce National POW/MIA Flag Act

Bill Would Ensure POW/MIA Flag is Displayed with U.S. Flag on Prominent Federal Properties

Text of the bill (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) today introduced The National POW/MIA Flag Act, which would require the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the office of the Director of the Selective Service System, each major military installation (as designated by the Secretary of Defense), each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and each United States Postal Service post office. The senators introduced this bill to honor the more than 82,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for from our nation's past wars and conflicts.

Under current law, the POW/MIA Flag is required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties only six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day.  The National POW/MIA Flag Act will ensure that the POW/MIA Flag is displayed whenever the U.S. flag is displayed, effectively ensuring that both flags are displayed concurrently and every day at federal locations already designated under existing law.

"All three of my brothers served in the military, and I understand the sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make to keep our country safe every single day," Senator Warren said. "We must honor those who have served our nation courageously, including those who have not made it home. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill alongside Senator Cotton to ensure that this important symbol honoring our brave men and women is proudly displayed with the American flag."

"Over 82,000 Americans, including hundreds of Arkansans, remain missing from past wars," Senator Cotton said. "They are not forgotten. It is my hope that this small gesture reminds Americans to honor those who left our shores, and never returned."

"The POW/MIA flag will be a symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still imprisoned, missing and the 83,000 plus unaccounted for from all wars," said Augustus Dante, Government Affairs Liaison of the Rolling Thunder, Inc. National. "As the POW/MIA Chair of Honor in the US Capitol, the POW/MIA flag flying over the Capitol will be a reminder to the families of our missing and the public that our government has not forgotten those that did not come home."

"We appreciate the bipartisan support of Senators Warren and Cotton in introducing this bill that seeks to ensure our POW/MIA flag is posted 24/7 at all locations currently required by law," said Ann Mills Griffiths, Chairman and CEO of the National League of POW/MIA Families. "Raising the symbol of America's commitment to account as fully as possible for US Veterans unreturned from past wars and conflicts signals worldwide that America stands with all who serve - past, present and future - and will pursue every reasonable effort to bring them home. "

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is proud to support this proposal to display the POW/MIA flag prominently at all federal locations," said Patrick Murray, Deputy Director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "We must always ensure that those who sacrificed, especially those who were captured or have yet to come home, are remembered and honored proudly and publicly."
This bill is endorsed by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National, Rolling Thunder Inc. Massachusetts Chapters 1 and 2, the National League of POW/MIA Families, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen. Representative Leonard Lance (R - N.J.) introduced the original legislation in the House of Representatives on January 12, 2017.