1970 POW/MIA Flag and Motto: You Are Not Forgotton


The logo, a stark black profile of a captive soldier in silhouette against a pow-miawhite background showing a guard tower and wire fence, and its motto, “You are not forgotten,” has been a creative and spiritual inspiration to all Americans, illustrators, artists, and veterans’s groups since its creation in 1970 during the Vietnam War.

The need for a logo and flag was recognized by Mrs. Michael Hoff, a POW/MIA wife and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia .  For a brief background on the history of the flag, please visit their website here.  

Forensic science has brought closure for some families recently according to their 2/22/15 update:

The search for our missing is ongoing and has had a recent success for two families.  “The remains of Capt Richard D. Chorlins, USAF, lost January 11, 1970, in Laos were identified on December 17, 2014.”  Using science, remains returned years ago, are being identified.   There are still 1,636 personnel listed by the Department of Defense as missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.  The remains of Capt Richard D. Chorlins, USAF, lost January 11, 1970, in Laos were identified on December 17, 2014.   Unilaterally repatriated by Vietnam on June 21, 1989, the remains of MSG James William Holt, USA, were identified on January 10, 2015. “

This small group, with only one full-time employee, has accomplished a great deal in keeping our POW/MIA in our collective memories during the last 46 years of its existence. Its mission is plain:

“The League’s sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.”

POW_MIA_Statue_in_United_States_Capitol_Rotunda

“On March 9, 1989, an official League flag that flew over the White House on National POW/MIA Recognition Day 1988 was installed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as a result of legislation passed overwhelmingly during the 100th Congress.” Photo credit: Jorfer, Wikipedia Commons

If you are in the Falls River, VA/Wash. D.C.  area, their annual meeting will be held in June.

Although created during the Vietnam War, the League states:  “The importance of the League’s POW/MIA flag lies in its continued visibility, a constant reminder of the plight of America’s POW/MIAs from all wars, including those now ongoing.

I cannot remember attending any patriotic event or parade without seeing the POW/MIA flag and having my awareness raised.  Is this symbol and message meaningful to your community?  Thanks for reading and thank you National League of POW/MIA Families for keeping the memory of our captive and missing alive.

Ed. Note:

I have one hanging in my man cave. It flew proudly for a year over the Purdy Spit on my Key Peninsula here in Washington. We put up a new one. Never ever forget.

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7 Responses to 1970 POW/MIA Flag and Motto: You Are Not Forgotton

  1. WGM says:

    Sir Nod, Is that a Second Infantry Division shoulder patch on the Class A uniform hanging on the back wall of the man cave?

    • asknod says:

      Would have to go look but I believe it’s the Navajo Code Talkers Regiment insignia. I was given the uniform but if you collect patches, I would gladly send it to you. My arrowhead collection far exceeds your patch collection from what I see. I’m sure it’s a rare one. I like the TACtical Air Command Patch. It’s the biggest patch I’ve ever seen. The British flag I snagged at Tango 11 in 71 when the Queen of England came to visit the little town nearby. I took it to the California Jam on April 9, 1974. We got it up 100′ high with 20 helium balloons so we could find our way back to our group. You can see it in filmed newscasts of the event.

      • WGM says:

        Thank you for offering the patch, but it should remain with the uniform for you to keep. I could not tell if the Class A coat was Army or Marine.
        The coat didn’t look blue in the picture, but seemed to be green. I learned recently the Army retired the dress Greens Class A and changed to dress Blue Class A. The new dress Blues look good. But I still favor Dress Greens of The Nam era. I can still get in my dress Greens. I put them in a large shadow box to hang on the wall, after starch and polishing the brass.
        Your b-day is very soon. Happy Birthday.
        It will be a grand Birthday present to beard vA lions in their own den.

  2. Kiedove says:

    NOD, great image! Also, the president is Grant and Lincoln is one the other side.

  3. It may have taken more than 45 years for our Vietnam veterans to be given thanks, but at least they are now being recognized instead of the horrible way Americans and America treated them back in the 60s and 70s when they returned from war.

    When I tell a veteran “thank you for your service” it’s because I mean it. It’s not just lip service.

    Shine On

    • Kiedove says:

      Vietnam vets and Vietnam-era face big challenges, as do our Korean vets. But the symbol is inclusive so all wars, so we can really appreciate it across the decades.

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