While the POW/MIA flag “reminds us to never forget our prisoners of war and missing in action,” says Military.com, bracelets were introduced in the 1970s as a more personal form of remembrance. They are still worn by the friends and relatives of Vietnam’s 725 POWs and more than 1,600 MIAs, as well as those remembering service members imprisoned or missing in action from other wars. Voices in Vital America (VIVA) “distributed nearly 5 million bracelets during the 1960s and 1970s to draw attention to the missing men,” says POW/MIA Families, which continues its work today.
Celebrated on the third Friday of September, POW/MIA Recognition Day ensures that America remembers to account for those who never returned from war. While Vietnam veterans were instrumental in making the day an annual observance, World War II had the most POWs (130,201) and MIAs (73,515). The POW/MIA flag flies with the Stars and Stripes at the White House on POW/MIA Recognition Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, and is the only other flag allowed to do so.
Not only is June 14 the day that the Continental Congress voted to adopt a new #flag for the newly formed United States in1777, History says, it was also the day that enlistment in the Continental Army was authorized two years earlier, making it the birthday of the U.S. Army. If you would like to support the nation’s #veterans this Flag Day, simply gather up some of your unused stuff and visit ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free #donation #pickup.
Historic U.S. flags such as the pre-1959 48-star flag can be displayed on Flag Day and other national holidays as long as they are in good condition. If you are in possession of a frayed or tattered flag, however, destroy it in the manner called “preferable” by the U.S. Flag Code: burning. Local chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America may be able to assist with flag disposal; many collect damaged flags year-round and burn them en masse at an annual observance.
There are a number of don’ts when it comes to displaying the U.S. flag, according to the official U.S. Flag Code. For example, the flag — in whole or in part — is not to be used as a costume, athletic uniform or apparel, meaning that the flag-festooned bathing suits, ballcaps and towels you’ll see at the beach this summer are considered more disrespectful than patriotic. What’s more, the code stipulates that temporary or disposable items should not be adorned with the flag, including paper napkins and boxes.