Shop for authentic POW-MIA Flags. We offer indoor and outdoor POW-MIA flags in nylon and polyester. Our outdoor flags are finished with a canvas heading, while indoor flags are finished with a lined pole hem and your choice of with or without fringe. We also offer indoor and outdoor POW-MIA flag sets. POW-MIA flags are available in single-sided and double-sided varieties.
History of the POW-MIA Flag
The POW / MIA Flag refers to Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action. It is a civilian flag, with a black background and a central black and white design. A circular white feature shows a silhouette of a uniformed service person against a background of a guard tower and high fence. Above this are the initials POW * MIA, and below the words "You Are Not Forgotten."
The POW / MIA Flag is the emblem of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. This association was formed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Families in California and Virginia combined to put pressure on the US government to free captured American POWs and find the whereabouts of those certified as Missing in Action.
Their efforts were successful, and the government changed its policies in 1969. The National League was officially Incorporated in 1970.
The League's success, and the issue of service personnel missing or taken prisoner was further highlighted in 1972. The work of the League was the main feature of an edition of Life Magazine. It carried a full page photograph of Major Wilmer Grub, a United States Air Force pilot who had been shot down in 1966 and never heard from since.
Major Grubb was the husband of Evelyn Grubb, one of the founders of the National League of Families. By the time the Life article was published, she represented the League at Paris Peace Talks, as well as the United Nations and the White House. It was partly through the League's success that Mrs. Grubb discovered that her husband had in fact died when he was shot down.
1972 was also the year when the League designed the POW / MIA flag. Mrs. Grubb played a huge part in its adoption by military and civilian public services. It soon began to appear outside military and federal bases. Its popularity spread to police and fire stations, where it is still flown today.
The stark black and white design became especially associated with the Vietnam war. When that conflict ended, it left more than 1,600 service personnel unaccounted for. Tactics over their discovery and release led to a split in the League in the 1980s. This led to the formation of the National Alliance of Families For the Return of America's Missing Servicemen.
Both organizations are still firmly committed to highlighting the issue of those missing in action, including those lost in Vietnam. The POW / MIA Flag is flown officially on six national days; Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW / MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day.
The POW / MIA flag is a non political emblem, which is embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike. It is also a valued way of showing civilian support and concern for the armed forces. It is a visual reinforcement of the military vow never to leave an injured comrade on the battlefield.