The black-and-white POW/MIA flag, with its image of a hunched prisoner flanked by barbed wire and a menacing guard tower looming overhead, has been a sober reminder since 1971 of the more than 83,000 American soldiers who have been taken prisoner of war or gone missing in action since World War II.
On Friday, Sept. 20, County Executive Ken Ulman will watch as the flag is hoisted at the George Howard building in Ellicott City, in honor of national POW/MIA recognition day.
Timed to coincide with the event, held annually on the third Friday of September, the County Council has introduced a bill that would ensure the POW/MIA flag flies alongside the U.S. and state flags at three government sites on six designated days a year.
If the bill is passed, the county would fly the POW/MIA flag on the following days:
- Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May)
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Flag Day (June 14)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- National POW/MIA Recognition Day (third Friday in September)
- Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11)
The flag would be flown at three government buildings:
- George Howard Executive Office building (3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City)
- Ascend One building (8930 Stanford Boulevard, Columbia)
- Gateway building (6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia)