U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after the National POW/MIA Flag Act was signed in law. Thune cosponsored this bipartisan legislation, which will require the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties 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.
“Today and throughout the history of our country, our men and women in uniform have valiantly chosen to serve in defense of freedom and the security of the United States,” said Thune. “I’m glad this legislation is now law. Displaying a POW/MIA flag to honor those who have not returned home is the least we can do to recognize these heroes and the sacrifice of their families.”
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. Those locations include 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.
Before the lawmakers’ bill became law, the POW/MIA Flag was 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 legislation was sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). In addition to Thune, the legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).