POW/MIA Proper Display



The POW/MIA flag features a silhouette of a POW before a guard tower and barbed wire in white on a black field. “POW/MIA” appears above the silhouette and the words “You Are Not Forgotten” appear below in white on the black field. This black and white flag stands as a stark reminder of Americans still prisoner, missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and is now accepted nationally and internationally as the symbol of vigilance and remembrance for all POW and MIA’s.

pm1BASIC GUIDELINES 1. DISPLAYING THE POW/MIA FLAG AND THE UNITED STATES FLAG WITH OTHER FLAGS ON THE SAME FLAGSTAFF When flying the POW/MIA flag on the same flagstaff as the United States flag, the POW/MIA flag should fly immediately below the United States flag. If the United States flag and a state flag and/or other flag or pennant will be flown along with the POW/MIA flag on the same flagstaff, the order from top to bottom should be: the United States flag, the POW/MIA flag, then the state flag or other flags, unless otherwise stipulated by your state flag code.

pm22. DISPLAYING THE POW/MIA FLAG WITH THE UNITED STATES FLAG AND OTHER FLAGS ON TWO ADJACENT FLAGSTAFFS When flags are flown from two adjacent flagstaffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. The POW/MIA flag should be flown on the flagstaff with and below the flag of the United States, which should be at the peak of the flagstaff. The state flag (or other flag) on an adjacent flagstaff may not be placed above the flag of the United States or to its right (the viewer’s left) if the flagstaffs are of equal height.

pm33. DISPLAYING THE POW/MIA FLAG WITH THE UNITED STATES FLAG AND OTHER FLAGS ON THREE ADJACENT FLAGSTAFFS OF UNEQUAL HEIGHT When flags are flown from three adjacent flagstaffs of unequal height, the United States flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. The POW/MIA flag should be flown on the flagstaff to the right (the viewer’s left) of the United States flag. State and other flags should be flown from the third flagstaff, unless otherwise stipulated by your state flag code.

pm54. DISPLAYING THE POW/MIA FLAG WITH THE UNITED STATES FLAG AND OTHER FLAGS ON ADJACENT FLAGSTAFFS OF EQUAL HEIGHT When flags are flown from adjacent flagstaffs of equal height, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last and no other flag should be flown to its right (the viewer’s left). The POW/MIA flag should be flown on the flagstaff to the immediate left (the viewer’s right) of the United States flag and state or other flags flown farther left, unless otherwise stipulated by your state flag code.

pm65. MARCHING WITH THE POW/MIA FLAG When the POW/MIA flag is carried in procession by itself, it should be carried front and center ahead of a marching unit. When carried in procession abreast with the United States flag, the POW/MIA flag should be on the marching left of the United States flag (top illustration). When a line of flags follow the United States flag, the US flag is centered on the line. The POW/MIA flag should be on the marching right of the line of flags (bottom illustration), unless otherwise stipulated by your state flag code.

pm76. POW/MIA FLAG AND UNITED STATES FLAG IN CROSSED-STAFF DISPLAY When displayed with the United States flag in crossed-staff format, the United States flag should be on the viewer’s left with its staff on top of the staff of the POW/MIA flag.

pm87. POW/MIA FLAG DISPLAYED ON A WALL OR BEHIND SPEAKER When the POW/MIA flag is displayed on wall, such as behind a speaker’s platform, the flag must be displayed as shown.

pm98. POW/MIA FLAG DISPLAYED ON SPEAKER’S PLATFORM WITH THE UNITED STATES FLAG When the POW/MIA flag is displayed with the United States flag on a speaker’s platform, the United States flag should be on the speaker’s right and the POW/MIA flag on the speaker’s left.

pm109. FLYING THE UNITED STATES AND POW/MIA FLAGS AT HALFSTAFF When flying the United States and the POW/MIA flag at half-staff, they should first be elevated to peak position, held there momentarily, and then lowered to half-staff. At the day’s end, each should be again elevated to peak position before being lowered. If the flags are on different flagstaffs, the United States flag should be raised and lowered last.


The Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 105-85, section 1082, signed by President Clinton on November 18, 1997, mandates that the U.S. Postal Service, the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs, all national cemeteries in the Federal system, the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial must fly the POW/MIA flag on the following designated days each year:

  • Armed Forces Day—the third Saturday in May
  • Memorial Day—the last Monday in May
  • Flag Day—June 14th
  • Independence Day—July 4th
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day—the third Friday in          September
  • Veteran’s Day—November 11th

If any of these days fall on a non-business day, postal facilities are required to display the POW/MIA flag on the last business day before the designated day, as directed by Postal Bulletin 21967 dated March 12, 1998.


For some time, there had been debate over when the POW/MIA flag should be flown, whether daily or on the specific six days noted in federal law. While not addressing the question of posting the flag at the national/federal level, League members at the 32nd Annual Meeting in June 2001, voted overwhelmingly in favor of the following resolution: “Be it RESOLVED that the National League of POW/MIA Families strongly recommends that state and municipal entities fly the POW/MIA flag daily to demonstrate continuing commitment to the goal of the fullest possible accounting of all personnel not yet returned to American soil.” 

Thin Blue Line

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 61 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

That is a startling and disturbing number of losses.  Can you imagine a world where we did not have any law enforcement? No one to call at 2 am when you hear a strange noise in the garage? No 911 when the neighbors are fighting? No one to turn to when your car disappears from the mall?

Being a member of the law enforcement community must be incredibly hard. You are called to peoples homes during times of great stress and discord. Every traffic stop has the potential to end poorly. It only takes a few “bad apples” for you to be judged as a community. It is sad that in this day and age, peace officers are feared instead of revered. It takes a special breed of people to put their lives at risk to serve others.

We are proud to add two new flags to our website; The Thin Blue Line and the Texas Thin Blue Line. These flags show our support and love for our law enforcement community. Flying these flags is an easy way to show your support for a community that does so much, for so many, with so little gratitude.

Law Enforcement Facts

Key Data about the Profession

  • There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.
  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2014, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2013 estimate.
  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,789 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • A total of 1,439 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 61 hours or 144 per year. There were 123 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.
  • There have been 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2014, resulting in 13,824 injuries.
  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.
  • New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 705 deaths. Texas has lost 1,682 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.
  • There are 1,102 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 668 correctional officers and 36 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 292 female officers listed on the Memorial; eleven female officers were killed in 2015.

Peace Officers put their lives on the line everyday. It is often a thankless job with long hours and inadequate pay. We are grateful that they are here to protect and serve because we can not imagine a world without them in it.

Have you thanked a Police officer lately?


The First Navy Jack – A Maritime Symbol of Freedom and Resistance

The First Navy Jack Flag


The symbolism of the flag is familiar to vexillologists and American patriots alike, bearing the 13 stripes to signify the original colonies that rebelled against the British Crown. Imposed on top are familiar symbols from the Gadsden Flag. First, the rattlesnake, this time uncoiled and not ready to strike. Second, the familiar legend “Don’t Tread On Me,” often rendered without the apostrophe, as a warning to tyrants everywhere that the seemingly docile rattlesnake can quickly coil and strike when the time is right. This combination of American flag features along with a slogan of resistance to tyranny have created an iconic national flag. But it’s not the original First Navy Jack.

In fact, no one is quite sure what the original design was. Commodore Esek Hopkins commissioned a “striped” jack, which many historians believe was the 13 stripes and nothing more. The earliest attested flag is from 1880, over 100 years after the formation of the Continental Navy and nearly a century after the formation of the United States Navy, and looked like what we now call the First Navy Jack. This design is found in History of the Flag of the United States by Admiral George Henry Preble, an influential history tome of the time. While this doesn’t mean that the early Navy didn’t fly the First Navy Jack, modern scholarship generally agrees that people believed this to be the design of the flag because of an incorrect pressing plate from the time of the American Revolution.

This mistake might be because of a description of an early South Carolina flag from 1778. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wrote the Ambassador of Sicily to thank him for allowing American ships into Sicilian ports. The letter describes the American Flag of 1777, also known as the Grand Union Flag. In addition, it describes a South Carolinian flag with a rattlesnake among 13 stripes. For more information about the history of the rattlesnake in American symbolism and vexillology, check out our history of the Gadsden Flag.

The First Navy Jack begins to re-enter American history in 1880, but it doesn’t stop there. For America’s bicentennial celebration, all moored and anchored commissioned naval vessels were instructed to fly the First Navy Jack. In 1980, a century after a happy accident introduced this beautiful piece of vexillology into the American canon, then Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo declared that the First Navy Jack would be flown by the longest-active vessel in the United States Navy’s fleet. Eleven warships have held this honor since then, the current one being the USS Blue Ridge, an amphibious command ship commissioned in 1970. The USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) is specifically excluded from holding this honor.

During the bicentennial year – from October 13, 1975 through December 31, 1976 – the First Navy Jack became the official naval jack once again. This was only temporary, however. On January 1, 1977, the jack reverted to the 50-star jack that had been used ever since Hawaii entered the Union.

The First Navy Jack is now the official jack of the United States Navy and has been since September 11, 2002. Retired Captain Brayton Harris (who was Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy during the bicentennial year) suggested that, for the duration of the War on Terror, it once again be changed to the First Navy Jack. A directive came through on May 31, 2002, that all warships were to fly the First Navy Jack as a temporary substitute for the 50-star flag. Most ships in the fleet chose to comply on the first anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. This included the USS Constitution, but it does not include Coast Guard cutter ships. Likewise excluded are Coast Guard patrol boats, Military Sealift Command vessels (most of which are under civilian command) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These all continue to fly the 50-star jack.

The flag has other current uses within the U.S. Navy. Shore facilities of the Navy can optionally fly the First Navy Jack, provided that they are also flying the 50-star jack as well. And sailors and naval officers have the option of wearing the First Navy Jack on flight suits as well as some versions of the Navy Working Uniform – this includes sailors and officers wearing the Army Combat Uniform while serving with Army units.

While the First Navy Jack doesn’t have the same widespread use in protest movements as the Gadsden Flag it resembles, it was a rallying icon for the fight against a smoking ban in Indiana. The flag also appeared at one of the first memorials for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombers.

This flag has an interesting and mysterious history, but it might be attractive to American patriots for one simple reason: It combines the symbolism of the American nation along with the symbolism of resistance to tyranny. For those who want to simultaneously show off their love of liberty alongside their love of America, there may be no better option than the First Navy Jack – steeped in all the great traditions of a great nation.

** Thank you to Ammo.com for allowing us to use your article in it’s entirety. They have great articles on other flags as well. The links below take you directly to their website.


The meaning behind each fold on the Internment Flag

The meaning behind each fold on the Internment Flag

In addition to uniforms, pins, patches, and medals, one of the most recognizable ways of honoring a veteran is through a military funeral and the tradition of a folded flag.

The folding of an American flag at a military, law enforcement, or fire official funeral is something that should not be overlooked.

According to the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veteran service organization, every fold has a meaning:

1.) First fold – A symbol of life
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How to Guide – Restring an Internal Rope based flagpole (Sentry)

Begin by lowering and removing your flag. The internal halyard flagpoles use rope assemblies. They look like this

Standard rope assemble. Notice the crimp and connector link on the end.

Standard rope assemble. Notice the crimp and connector link on the end.

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