Iola Veterans Memorial: History of POW / MIA Flag

© Photographed September 24, 2016
Erected 2015 by Sheveland-Taylor American Legion Post 14
Iola, Waupaca County, Wisconsin
44.509102,-89.130586
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History of POW/MIA Flag
 In 1971, while the Vietnam War was still being fought, Mary Hoff, the wife of a service member missing in action and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of the U.S. POW/MIAs, some of whom had been held in captivity for as many as seven years. The flag is black, and bears in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the league [sic]. The emblem was designed by Newt Heisley, and features a white disc bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-point star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: "You are not Forgotten." The POW/MIA was flown over the White House for the first time in September 1982.

On March 9, 1989, one league flag that had flown over the White House on the 1988 National POW/MIA Recognition Day was installed in the U. S. Capitol rotunda as a result of legislation passed by the 100th Congress. the league's [sic] POW/MIA flag is the only one other than the Flag of the United States to have flown over the White House.

On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag and designated it "as a symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoners, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation." Beyond Southeast Asia, it has been a symbol for POW/MIAs from all U.S. wars.
The plaque is part of the Gold Star Memorial located at Veterans Memorial Park on northbound Main Street / Wisconsin Highway 49 / 161, north of its intersection with Water Street, at or near 190 North Main Street, Iola, Wisconsin 54945.


The plaque is affixed to the base of the Gold Star Memorial.

The Gold Star Memorial is part of the larger Iola Veterans Memorial.

The memorial is located at Veterans Memorial Park
in Iola, Wisconsin.

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