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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Flying a flag

Since the establishment of the Bonners Ferry Port of Entry more than two decades ago, there has always been something missing: the U.S. flag, the Idaho state flag and the POW/MIA flag. Not anymore, as the colors now fly above. (Mike  Prager / The Spokesman-Review)
Since the establishment of the Bonners Ferry Port of Entry more than two decades ago, there has always been something missing: the U.S. flag, the Idaho state flag and the POW/MIA flag. Not anymore, as the colors now fly above. (Mike Prager / The Spokesman-Review)

Anyone spending time around the Legislature knows its schedule is rife with “good little bills”, which is code for something noncontroversial enough to pass without much fuss. One such bill is House Bill 1204, which would require government installations to fly the POW/MIA flag two more days of the year.

This might cause some people to ask “What flag?” It’s the black flag with a silhouetted head in a white circle with a guard tower, and the legend “You Are Not Forgotten”. It sometimes flies below the Stars and Stripes on government installation poles large enough to handle two flags.

State law requires state institutions, colleges, counties, cities and towns to fly that flag on eight days. Several you can probably guess: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, and four others that seem logical, even if you don’t know when they are: Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (March 30); Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May); National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (July 27) and National POW/MIA Recognition Day (third Friday in September). 

The bill, which passed the House 97-0 would add Pearl Harbor Day, and one not so familiar, Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day (April 9). The idea is to help people, particularly children, remember the sacrifice prisoners of war, those missing in action, and their families, have made.

Of course one could argue this good little bill could use a good little amendment saying the POW/MIA flag should be flown year-round to help people remember any time they see it, rather than on some days we might not remember exactly why its flown. 



The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.