By Lynn R. Mitchell
June 14, 2015 … Flag Day, a tribute to our red, white, and blue American flags. But what about those stark black-and-white POW/MIA flags that are often seen flying in conjunction with the American flag? How did they come to be?
You see it everywhere—the stark, black-and-white POW/MIA flag—flying in front of VA hospitals, post offices and other federal, state and local government buildings, businesses and homes. It flaps on motorcycles, cars and pickup trucks. The flag has become an icon of American culture, a representation of the nation’s concern for military service personnel missing and unaccounted for in overseas wars.
From the Revolution to the Korean War, thousands of U.S. soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors have been taken prisoner or gone missing. But it took the Vietnam War—and a sense of abandonment felt by wives and family members of Americans held captive—to bring forth what has evolved into the nation’s POW/MIA symbol.