The National League of POW-MIA Flags created the POW-MIA Flag in 1972 to serve as a symbol of support for America’s POW/MIAs and their families. It was designed by New Jersey graphic artist Newton F. Heisley for Annin Flagmakers, the world’s largest flag manufacturer at the time. The black and white flag depicts a POW with his head bowed behind barbed wire and a guard tower in the background. The words “You Are Not Forgotten” are written across the top.

Heisley wanted to ensure that the flag and its design would belong to all Americans, so he never copyrighted it. The National League of POW/MIA families took the lead in gaining the POW/MIA Flag’s widespread acceptance and use.

Honoring the Fallen: Understanding POW MIA Flags

In 1998, Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the POW/MIA Flag as “the national symbol to express our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of all Americans still prisoner or missing in Southeast Asia.”

Today, the National League of POW/MIA Families is a vibrant organization with a broad base of support from veterans, service members, organizations and the general public. The National League of POW/MIA Flag is flown daily on prominent federal properties such as the United States Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans and Vietnam Veterans Memorials, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the office of the Director of the Selective Service System, every major military installation, each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center and the United States Postal Service post offices.