Protect the POW/MIA Flag!

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We are asking for a law that prohibits elected officials removing the POW/MIA flag and replacing it with other flags for other causes . While we are not trying to ban these flags, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, states that veterans are a protected class of citizens, and our flags should be protected as well. The POW flag represents those taken as prisoner and had gone missing in action paying the ultimate price. The purpose of the POW/MIA  flag is meant to not be removed until all of our Missing In Action and Prisoners Of War are accounted for.  Currently, The Department of Defense estimates that about 75 percent of those missing were last known to be in the Asia-Pacific area. More than 41,000 are presumed lost at sea, remains of about 1500 POW's have not returned home, and  82,000 Americans remain missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars/other conflicts.

At this time,The POW/MIA , designed in 1972 on behalf of the National League of POW/MIA Families, is the only flag aside from the U.S. flag to be flown over the White House. This year, the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers are considering a bill making it mandatory for all Illinois airports to fly the POW/MIA flag. SB1127 passed the Senate and, as of March 18, resides in the House Rules Committee. 

We acknowledge the First Amendment and civil rights for all Americans, but we object to elected officials removing our POW/MIA flag for their other political agendas. We feel that doing so is a disservice to all veterans, their families and the sacrifices that have been made for this nation. There are many combat veterans who had been wounded, suffer disabilities due to time in service, and lost many friends that they called "brother" in time of war. Their sacrifice cannot be forgotten. 

Why is our petition necessary? 

While lawmakers around the nation have been successful in passing laws for making it mandatory to fly the POW/MIA flag, there have been  recent incidents where the flag has been removed and replaced for other causes. 

March 29th, 2019 FOX news and other outlets report that "Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., was among multiple Democratic lawmakers whose office was pictured this week with the transgender pride flag in lieu of the POW/MIA flag.". This piece was written by Bradford Betz and provided a photo of the missing POW flag. Link To Article Here

March 29th, 2019 A piece written by Patricia Kime on military.com also reported that "Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, swapped out their POW/MIA flags for the banners." for Trans Visibility week. Link To Article Here

June 10, 2019 many news outlets reported that Councilman Evan Glass and other county officials removed the POW/MIA flag from it's flagpole and raised the LGBT Pride flag in it's place at the veterans memorial citing there wasn't room for both flags. After public outcry, the POW flag was replaced the following day and the LGBT pride flag was flown under the state flag. There is a video on the Council member's official Face Book page of the flag being raised in the place of the POW MIA flag and many photos have circulated around social media of the missing POW/MIA flag. Link to Article Here

We feel that these actions by these elected officials are disrespectful and makes precedent for the POW/MIA flag to  be removed from government installations in the future. We are not attacking the LGBT community, nor are we lobbying against their flags or flags for any other cause. We acknowledge the diversity of the veteran and civilian community, and civil rights for all Americans,but these elected officials are supposed to represent everyone in their respective districts. Our POW's endured horrific torture and separation from their families and loved ones and the legacy of our nation's war fighters should never be forgotten. The POW/MIA flag must fly until every single one of them return home. 

 


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