Congressman Pappas & Congressman Bergman introduce bipartisan, bicameral National POW/MIA Flag Act

March 7, 2019
Press Release
This bill would ensure the POW/MIA Flag is displayed with the U.S. Flag on prominent federal properties

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Congressman Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) today joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral National POW/MIA Flag Act (H.R. 1579), a bill that 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. Representatives Pappas and Bergman introduced the House version of 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.

“The POW/MIA Flag is representative of the courage and sacrifice members our armed forces have given on behalf of this nation throughout our history,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “By putting the flag on full display outside of prominent federal buildings, memorials, and national cemeteries, we are reaffirming our commitment to the more than 82,000 servicemembers who remain unaccounted for. As the representative of New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, which has the longest-running POW/MIA vigil in America, I have seen how important the flag is to demonstrate that these heroes are not forgotten. I hope this bill will help encourage further display of the POW/MIA Flag and honor our servicemembers, veterans, and their families.”

“Over 82,000 men and women who've served our nation in uniform are unaccounted for or listed as POW/MIA, including many Michiganders,” said Congressman Jack Bergman. “Flying this flag at federal properties 365 days a year is just a small way that we can ensure their sacrifice and devotion to our nation is never forgotten."

The bill is also endorsed by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National; 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.

“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.”  

“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.”

Meredith, a town in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, is home to America’s longest consecutively-held POW/MIA vigil in the United States, held every Thursday night for more than 30 years.