Tag Archives: National POW/MIA Recognition Day

The story behind the POW/MIA flag

American flag 5

My Vietnam era Air Force veteran husband always includes the POW/MIA flag in tribute – Memorial Day 2015.

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?

Wreaths Across America shared the history of the POW/MIA flag from History.com:

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.
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National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day

POW-MIABy Lynn R. Mitchell

Today is National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day. Some may wonder why this day is needed. Here are some statistics (see National POW/Missing Recognition Day in the United States):

There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. The number of United States personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 841. About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control, according to the National League of Families website (cited in the United States Army website).
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