May 06, 2019

Warren, Cotton, Thune, Sinema, Colleagues Applaud Senate Passage of Bipartisan National POW/MIA Flag Act

Bill to Display POW/MIA Flag with U.S. Flag on Prominent Federal Properties Now Heads to House

Text of the Bill (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today applauded the unanimous Senate passage of the National POW/MIA Flag Act, a bipartisan bill to 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 legislation, which the senators introduced in March 2019 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, now heads to the House of Representatives.

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.

"As the sister of three veterans, I understand the importance of honoring the sacrifices of those who have fought courageously for our country," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad that our bipartisan bill to honor our servicemembers-including those who have not returned home-is one step closer to becoming law."

"I'm glad the Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan National Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Flag Act," said Senator Thune. "I hope the House will quickly pass this bill to recognize these American heroes and their families."

"I come from a military family- honoring our veterans is personal for me. We cannot forget those who sacrificed for our country and never returned home," said Senator Sinema.

"We cannot let up in our efforts to account for all of the prisoners of war and those missing in action who have sacrificed for America, and to support their families and loved ones who continue to face uncertainty," Senator Hassan said. "I hope the House passes this bipartisan bill without delay."

"Over the course of our nation's wars and conflicts, more than 82,000 American service members have been listed at POW/MIA or unaccounted for," said Senator Toomey. "We owe it to those service members and their families to ensure that our nation never forgets their sacrifices. Once the House passes and President Trump signs this bipartisan measure into law, the POW/MIA flag will be permanently displayed at certain federal sites. I appreciate my colleagues' support in honoring and recognizing our nation's heroes."

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) also cosponsored the National POW/MIA Flag Act. The House version of this bill was introduced by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Jack Bergman (R-MI-01). The bill is also 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.

"I thank Senators Warren, Cotton, Thune, and Sinema for working to pass the National POW/MIA Flag Act in the Senate," said Augustus Dante, Government Affairs Liaison of the Rolling Thunder, Inc. National. "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 the 82,000 POW/MIAs unaccounted for from all wars who did not come home. I hope the House of Representatives quickly takes up and passes this important bill and sends it to the President's desk."

This bill was first introduced in the Senate during the 115th Congress by Senators Warren and Cotton.