The History of the POW-MIA Flag

Veterans Voices

(WFXR) — In the early 1970s, a group of women wanted answers about their husbands who had been reported as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action in Vietnam.

A group of military wives in the Jacksonville, Fla. area started working together, to find out information about their missing loved ones. Mary Hoff was one of the leaders of the group and — through dedication and commitment to finding answers — helped transform the group into an organization known as the National League of Families.

The league was formed in the spring of 1970, with a sole mission to obtain information, and release all prisoners and all recoverable remains of those who died serving during the Vietnam War.

At the time the league formed, there wasn’t a symbol to help unite the organization. Hoff then contacted a company that was designing banners for the United Nations. After Hoff went back and forth with the company, the POW-MIA banner was finally born.

The POW-MIA flag can be seen flying throughout the nation as a symbol of freedom and honor. The words You Are Not Forgotten are stitched across the simple palette of black and white. You can see the flag hoisted proudly throughout our great land and positioned just beneath or beside the American Flag.

This year marks 50 years since the POW-MIA flag was born. It is considered a beacon of hope not only for the soldiers from the Vietnam War, but all the men and women who serve, and the conflicts in American history.

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