History of the POW/MIA Flag
Since World War I, more than 200,000 Americans have been listed as being Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. Specifically, during the Vietnam War, more than 2,500 Americans were captured and listed as Missing in Action or MIA. An organization called the National League of Families was formed shortly after the end of the Vietnam War in response to this staggering and heartbreaking statistic. Composed of spouses, children, parents, and other family members of the MIA soldiers, its goal was to remind the nation of their loved oneâ€™s plight. In 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, the wife of an MIA soldier and member of the National League of Families, felt that there should be a symbol to remind the nation of these soldiers and the fight to bring them home. Around this time the People's Republic of China had been admitted to the United Nations and a flag manufacturer called Annin Company had produced a flag for them. Mrs. Hoff read about this in the Florida-Times Union and felt a flag would be perfect. She contacted the companyâ€™s Vice President, Norman Rivkee to state her case. Mr. Rivkee was very receptive to the idea and quickly turned to one of their advertising agencies to create a design which would honor these brave men and women left behind. At this agency, worked Newt Heisley, a military pilot in World War II. Mr. Heisley took on the project being he was a veteran himself and his oldest son Jeffery, had trained for combat in the Vietnam War. Jeffery had become ill while training for combat and when he returned home, a once strong man was now gaunt and lifeless. This image brought to mind what life must have been like for those soldiers captured and encased on foreign soil. He began to sketch his son's gaunt profile using a black background and a white silhouette. As he sketched he added a barbed wire and a tower in the distance still in the black and white color scheme. Under this image the words "You Are Not Forgotten" were boldly added. This design was one of many, but it was instantly chosen for what would become the POW MIA flag still used today.
The POW MIA design was never copyrighted and has been legally ruled as "public domain." This flag is the only flag, other than the American Flag, that has ever flown over the White House. The POW MIA flag has flown there on every POW MIA Recognition Day, which is the third Friday of every September, since 1982. It also flies over the nation's capital on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. The flag is flown daily in the United States Capitol Rotunda and all VA Medical facilities are to display the flag on any day that National colors are displayed. The original creation of the POW/MIA flag was for those soldiers missing from the Vietnam War, but over time has come to represent missing men and women from any war.
We are honored to offer a range of POW MIA flags for your needs. When looking for an outdoor flag, choose from several sizes, single or double face, and various materials. We also offer parade sets ideal for honoring these soldiers on special occasions. The parade kits include everything you need to attach them for a sturdy, noticeable display of honor. All of the POW MIA flags and accessories we offer are made with high standards of quality construction for a lasting addition. With color fade resistant materials and brass grommets to resist rust, these flags will present an honorable display conveyed with the deepest of respect. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for assistance.