January 22, 2021

Senators Hassan, Cotton, Warren Call for Return of POW/MIA Flag to Atop the White House

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are calling on President Joe Biden to return the POW/MIA flag to its place atop the White House, with the American flag, which is required by the Senators’ National POW/MIA Flag Act that became law in November 2019.

 

“We write to request that you restore the POW/MIA flag to its rightful place atop the White House,” wrote the Senators. “As you may be aware, last year the POW/MIA flag was removed from atop the residence and placed in a memorial on the White House Grounds during a Memorial Day event. The flag was never returned to its rightful place following that event. We ask you to ensure that the White House displays the POW/MIA flag in accordance with federal law to appropriately honor all American prisoners of war and missing service members.”

 

The Senators also shared their support for the new permanent POW/MIA memorial at the White House. They wrote, “The welcome addition of such a memorial does not prevent any administration from also flying the POW/MIA flag with the American flag atop the White House, in the spirit of the National POW/MIA Flag Act.”

 

The Senators stated, “This issue is critically important to veterans and other Americans who care deeply about the POW/MIA flag as a sign that we will never forget about the thousands of American service members who are still far from home against their will.”

 

The Senators’ effort is supported by the American Legion, the National League of POW/MIA Families, Rolling Thunder, Inc., and numerous New Hampshire veterans groups.

 

“The POW/MIA Flag must fly over the White House every day as signed into law Nov 7, 2019 so all could view from a far. Now that the POW/MIA flag flies on the south lawn that also must stay. Rolling Thunder Inc. members throughout the country appreciate the bipartisan support of Senators Warren and Cotton for introducing this legislation and Senator Hassan as co-sponsor for this legislation, and continuing to advocate for the return of the POW/MIA Flag atop the White House,” said Artie Muller, Founder and National Director, Rolling Thunder, Inc.

 

“The POW/MIA flag flying over the White House will be a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of all 83,000 plus still unaccounted for from all wars,” said Gus Dante, Rolling Thunder, Inc. Board Member.

 

"The National League of POW/MIA Families deeply appreciates the bipartisan support that Senators Hassan, Warren and Cotton have again demonstrated by asking President Biden to restore our POW/MIA flag to its intended place atop the White House. Nationally and internally, the POW/MIA flag reflects our nation's determination to account as fully as possible for those lost in combat during past wars and conflicts,” said Ann Mills-Griffiths, Chairman of the Board & CEO, National League of POW/MIA Families.

 

“As President of the NE POW/MIA Network, I’d like to thank Senator Hassan for her continued efforts to ensure the POW/MIA Flag is restored to its rightful position atop the White House. The POW/MIA flag, a symbol which means so much to so many, is not a partisan issue. It is and always has been an American issue. This is simply the right thing to do,” said Robert Jones, Northeast POW/MIA Network President and Vietnam Veteran.

 

The Northeast POW/MIA Network; NH VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars); Colonel Edward Cross Chapter, the NH Chapter of AUSA; Rolling Thunder ® Inc. Chapter One NH; and Vietnam Veterans of America New Hampshire also issued a joint statement of support: “Prisoners of war and those who are missing in action are some of our country’s greatest heroes. They and their families sacrificed so much for our country, and we have a responsibility to remember them. Senator Hassan and her fellow Members of Congress came together to help honor and pay tribute to these brave individuals by requiring that the POW/MIA Flag flies with the American Flag at prominent federal buildings. It was unacceptable that the Trump administration didn’t follow through on flying the POW/MIA Flag with the American Flag at the White House for our country and the world to see. We appreciate and echo Senator Hassan’s call to President Biden to return the POW/MIA Flag to its rightful place atop the White House.”

 

Read the Senators’ full letter here or below.

 

Dear President Biden:

 

We write to request that you restore the POW/MIA flag to its rightful place atop the White House. As you may be aware, last year the POW/MIA flag was removed from atop the residence and placed in a memorial on the White House Grounds during a Memorial Day event. The flag was never returned to its rightful place following that event. We ask you to ensure that the White House displays the POW/MIA flag in accordance with federal law to appropriately honor all American prisoners of war and missing service members.

 

On November 7, 2019, the National POW/MIA Flag Act, which we led and which received widespread bipartisan support, became law. This law requires the POW/MIA flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties to honor the nearly 82,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War, Missing in Action, or otherwise unaccounted for from our nation’s past wars and conflicts. As a result, certain federal locations, including the White House, must now display both flags every day in locations that are visible to the general public.

 

This issue is critically important to veterans and other Americans who care deeply about the POW/MIA flag as a sign that we will never forget about the thousands of American service members who are still far from home against their will. Although the flag has been relocated to a permanent memorial on the White House grounds, the new location is not prominently visible from outside the White House grounds. We support the creation of this permanent memorial, but would like to see the flag elevated to a position more visible to the general public. The welcome addition of such a memorial does not prevent any administration from also flying the POW/MIA flag with the American flag atop the White House, in the spirit of the National POW/MIA Flag Act.

 

We ask that you take swift action to restore the flag to its place of honor atop the White House, thereby prominently recognizing the service and sacrifices of American prisoners of war, missing service members, and their families.

 

###