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Legislation looks to bring more POW/MIA flags to federal properties

A POW/MIA flag waves during the closing ceremony for the POW/MIA 24-hour run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

CHRISTOPHER DEWITT/U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

By CLAUDIA GRISALES | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — The POW/MIA flag would be displayed more prominently along with the U.S. flag on federal properties under a plan proposed Thursday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The lawmakers said the National POW/MIA Flag Act would ensure the iconic banner is prominently displayed at the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and every national cemetery.

It would also be seen at the offices for cabinet secretaries, major military installations, Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and U.S. Postal Service outlets.

“Honoring our servicemembers who have fought courageously and honorably for our country’s freedom is so important,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said in a statement reintroducing the legislation.

Warren and Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Thune, R-S.D., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., are sponsoring the measure in the upper chamber, while Reps. Chris Pappas, D-N.H. and Jack Bergman, R-Mich., have introduced the House companion bill. The lawmakers said in a statement that they introduced the bill to honor more than 82,000 Americans listed as prisoners of war, missing in action, or who are otherwise unaccounted for from past wars and conflicts.

Under current law, the POW/MIA flag is required to be displayed on certain federal properties during six holidays a year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day, the lawmakers said.

“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,” Pappas said in a statement. “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.”

grisales.claudia@stripes.com
Twitter: @cgrisales

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