1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National
League of Families, recognized the need for a symbol of our
POW/MIAs. Prompted by an article in the Jacksonville, Florida
Times-Union, Mrs. Hoff contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice President of
Annin & Company which had made a banner for the newest member of
the United Nations, the People’s Republic of China, as a part of
their policy to provide flags to all United Nations members states.
Mrs. Hoff found Mr. Rivkees very sympathetic to the POW/MIA issue,
and he, along with Annin’s advertising agency, designed a flag to
represent our missing men. Following League approval, the flags were
manufactured for distribution.
March 9, 1989, an official League flag, which flew over the White
House on 1988 National POW/MIA Recognition Day, was installed in the
U.S. Capitol Rotunda as a result of legislation passed
overwhelmingly during the 100th Congress. In a demonstration of
bipartisan Congressional support, the leadership of both Houses
hosted the installation ceremony.
League’s POW/MIA flag is the only flag ever displayed in the U.S.
Capitol Rotunda where it will stand as a powerful symbol of national
commitment to America’s POW/MIAs until the fullest possible
accounting has been achieved for U.S. personnel still missing and
unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355,
which recognized the League’s POW/MIA flag and designated it "as
the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as
fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and
unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for
their families and the Nation".
importance of the League’s POW/MIA flag lies in its continued
visibility, a constant reminder of the plight of America’s
POW/MIAs. Other than "Old Glory", the League’s POW/MIA
flag is the only flag ever to fly over the White House, having been
displayed in this place of honor on National POW/MIA Recognition Day
since 1982. With passage of Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense
Authorization Act during the first term of the 105th Congress, the
League’s POW/MIA flag will fly each year on Armed Forces Day,
Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA
Recognition Day and Veterans Day on the grounds or in the public
lobbies of major military installations as designated by the
Secretary of the Defense, all Federal national cemeteries, the
national Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, the White House, the United States Postal Service post
offices and at the official offices of the Secretaries of State,
Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, and Director of the Selective