Law Honors Prisoners of War/Soldiers Missing in Action

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) announced that her legislation encouraging New York State Police facilities to fly the POW/MIA flag was signed into law (Chap. 411 of 2005).

"This symbol of sacrifice recognizes the heroes whose selfless commitment to freedom gives us the privilege of liberty," Gunther said.

Since enactment of the National POW/MIA Recognition Act of 1997, the POW/MIA flag has flown at the White House, U.S. Capitol and other government offices on certain holidays. Gunther’s law encourages New York State Police facilities to display the POW/MIA flag on the same days, when the American flag is also flown to honor men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The POW/MIA flag was created more than 30 years ago through the determination of Mrs. Mary Hoff, the wife of a serviceman and member of the National League of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. The flag’s design has a white disk showing the black silhouette of a man’s bust, a watchtower with a guard holding a rifle and a strand of barbed wire. The letters POW and MIA frame a 5-pointed star. A wreath and the words, "You are not forgotten" are below the disk.

"We fly the flag for our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who died and disappeared fighting for our country," Gunther said. "It is one way to pay our respect for their sacrifices."