President Trump Signs POW/MIA Flag Act into Law

'The VFW supported this new law from the very beginning'

VFW officials were present at the White House during the Oval Office signing of the National POW/MIA Flag Act by President Donald Trump.

The new law (P.L. 116-67) requires that POW/MIA flags be displayed below the U.S. flag at federal sites around the country. These locations include:

  • White House.
  • Capitol building.
  • World War II Memorial.
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • National cemeteries.
  • State Secretary offices.
  • Defense Secretary offices.
  • VA Secretary offices.
  • Selective Service System Director’s office.
  • Military installations.
  • VA medical centers.
  • Post offices.

VFW Commander-in-Chief William “Doc” Schmitz said the law will serve as a “daily reminder” of service members still missing in action.

“This is a historic victory for every man and woman who courageously defended this nation and remains unaccounted for,” Schmitz said.

In March 2019, Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), who is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) introduced the National POW/MIA Flag Act in the House.

“The VFW supported this new law from the very beginning,” said VFW Washington Office Executive Director B.J. Lawrence, who attended Trump’s bill signing. “We continue to stand firm on our relationship with and dedication to both The National League of POW/MIA Families and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.”

Prior to the law’s enactment, the POW/MIA flag was only required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day.

Lawrence said the new law is a “huge step” in the right direction.

“Our nation’s leaders made a pledge to account for every service member who did not come home,” said Lawrence, an Army veteran. 

“This is a pledge which also holds true for today’s servicemen and women. We must always ensure that if they do fall in battle, they are not forgotten and our nation will do everything in its power to bring them home.”

This article is featured in the February 2020 issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Dave Spiva, associate editor for VFW magazine.