Cotton POW/MIA Flag Bill Becomes Law Ahead of Veterans Day

Yesterday, the president signed into law Senator Cotton’s National POW/MIA Flag Act, which requires the POW/MIA flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties to honor the more than 82,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for from our nation’s past wars and conflicts. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), along with Senators John Thune (R-South Dakota), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) were original co-sponsors of the bill, which was first introduced during the 115th Congress and reintroduced earlier this year.

“There’s no better time than Veterans Day to honor those who left our shores only to be held captive, and those who have still not returned,” said Senator Cotton. “Over 82,000 Americans remain missing from past wars and prominently displaying the POW/MIA flag will help remind all Americans of their service and sacrifice.”

  “All three of my veteran brothers came home safe after their service, but many do not,” said Senator Warren. “This bipartisan law ensures that the POW/MIA Flag is consistently and prominently displayed and that we never forget those servicemembers who have not returned home.”

The National POW/MIA Flag Act requires the POW/MIA flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed at federal locations already designated under existing law. Those locations include the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the office of the Director of the Selective Service System, each major military installation (as designated by the Secretary of Defense), each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and each United States Postal Service Post Office.

Before this bill became law, the POW/MIA Flag was required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties only six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day.

Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Jack Bergman (R-MI-01) sponsored the House version of the bill.

The legislation is supported by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National; Rolling Thunder Inc. Massachusetts Chapters 1 and 2; the National League of POW/MIA Families; Veterans of Foreign Wars; The American Legion; American Ex-Prisoners of War; and the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen.