President Joe Biden has restored the prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action flag to its former location atop the White House.
The black-and-white POW-MIA flag returned atop the chief executive’s residence, just below the American flag, on Friday, which is National Former POW Recognition Day.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the return was ‘in keeping with the president and first lady’s commitment to honor the sacrifices of all those who serve.’
Last summer, former President Donald Trump had moved the POW flag from its customary perch to a less prominent location for a ‘sacred memorial’ on the White House South Lawn. The location atop the White House can be seen from a much greater distance.
President Joe Biden has restored the prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action flag to its former location atop the White House
The black-and-white POW-MIA flag returned atop the chief executive’s residence, just below the American flag, on Friday, which is National Former POW Recognition Day
The flag’s return to the White House came after a request from a bipartisan group of senators.
Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, tweeted that he was ‘proud’ to see the flag above the White House again as a way of honoring ‘the sacrifices of our brave servicemembers who were held behind enemy lines, and those who have not yet returned home.’
The Trump White House declined to explain why the flag was relocated last summer but said last year it was done in a private ceremony with full military honors.
The move drew backlash, particularly after Trump once famously ridiculed war prisoners in remarks slamming his late nemesis John McCain.
‘He’s not a war hero,’ Trump said of McCain in 2015. ‘He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.’
Former White House spokesman Judd Deere did say last September: ‘President Trump dedicated a POW/MIA memorial site earlier this year on the White House grounds to forever remember our heroic service members who were prisoners of war or missing in action.’
The Trump White House declined to explain why the flag was relocated last summer but said last year it was done in a private ceremony with full military honors
Trump had moved the POW-MIA flag somewhere on the South Lawn (above) but no photos of the site could be found on file
‘The President selected a site on the Southwest corner of the South Lawn for this prominent and sacred memorial, which is visible to all those who visit the White House, that features the POW/MIA flag,’ he added.
But the flag’s move drew fury, particularly after a report in the Atlantic magazine alleging that Trump had called fallen American soldiers ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’ sparked outrage and controversy.
Trump denied the allegation, but the claims haunted him in the final days of his re-election campaign, particularly in light of his prior public remarks about McCain.
‘It’s bad enough that President Trump publicly ridicules American heroes like Senator McCain and others who were captured on the battlefield,’ said Democratic Senator Jack Reed last year, demanding the flag be returned.
‘He inexplicably promotes the Confederate flag but fails to fly the POW/MIA flag,’ said Reed.
‘It’s part of a pattern of disrespect by President Trump toward those who honorably served our nation.’
The black-and-white POW-MIA flag reads, ‘You are not forgotten,’ and depicts a man beneath a guard tower gazing down at a barbed-wire fence
A group of bipartisan lawmakers had been calling on Biden to return the flag to the top of the White House.
‘It is a powerful way to continually remember and pay tribute to the tremendous sacrifice of prisoners of war and missing service members,’ Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan said in a statement on Friday.
The black-and-white POW-MIA flag reads, ‘You are not forgotten,’ and depicts a man beneath a guard tower gazing down at a barbed-wire fence. About 82,000 U.S. servicemembers are still listed as missing from conflicts dating back to World War Two.
‘The president and the first lady are proud to be doing this. They moved forward in making sure that the flag went up,’ a White House official said.
U.S. law requires the flag to be displayed in a ‘manner designed to ensure visibility to the public.’