Senators to ask Biden to restore POW-MIA flag to White House after Trump
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[January 22, 2021]
By Alexandra Alper
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several lawmakers
plan to urge President Joe Biden on Friday to restore a flag honoring
missing war veterans to the White House, according to a copy of a letter
seen by Reuters, after former President Donald Trump angered some
veterans by moving it.
The POW-MIA flag, which is dedicated to prisoners of war and
servicemembers missing in action, was relocated last year from a
prominent position atop the White House to a less visible spot on the
The move came months after Trump signed into law a bill requiring the
flag to be flown at certain federal properties including the White House
"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," wrote Democratic Senators Maggie Hassan and
Elizabeth Warren and Republican Tom Cotton, who co-sponsored the
"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 said, in a letter they plan to
send on Friday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden, who took office on Wednesday, has often extolled his deceased son
Beau's military service in Iraq.
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A POW-MIA flag flies at graveside during a full honors burial
service for seven U.S. Vietnam era military members at Arlington
National Cemetery in Virginia March 21, 2014. All seven members were
buried in one grave. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo
The black and white POW-MIA flag, which reads: “You are not
forgotten,” depicts a man beneath a guard tower gazing down at a
barbed-wire fence. About 82,000 U.S. servicemembers are still
missing from conflicts dating back to World War Two.
U.S. law requires the flag to be displayed in a “manner designed to
ensure visibility to the public.” In its current position, it can be
viewed from limited vantage points outside the White House complex.
The Trump White House declined to explain why the flag was relocated
but said last year it was done in a private ceremony with full
Hassan and Warren previously described the move as disrespectful and
potentially illegal, while some veterans groups criticized it,
including The American Ex-Prisoners of War, which described it as a
"slap in the face."
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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