Congress designated the 3rd Friday of September as "National POW/MIA Recognition Day" and ordered prominent 'display of the POW/MIA flag on this day' and several other national observances, including:
- Armed Forces Day
- Memorial Day
- Flag Day
- Independence Day
- Veterans Day
Displaying the POW/MIA Flag
Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action come from EVERY STATE, thus the POW/MIA flag has precedence over state flags. The following guidelines should be followed in flying the POW/MIA flag:
- If flying the flag from ONE FLAG POLE, the POW/MIA flag is flown directly below the National Colors and above any state flag.
- If flying National, POW/MIA and State flags from TWO poles, the POW/MIA flag should be flown from the same pole as the National Colors, and beneath the American Flag, with the state flag flying from the pole to the left.
- If flying flags from three poles, the National Colors occupy the place of prominence (the right), with the POW/MIA flag immediately to the left of the US Flag, and the state flag to the left of the POW/MIA flag.
The 1998 Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 105-85) mandates that on the national observance days the POW/MIA flag is to be flown over the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Korean and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials, the offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs, offices of the Director of the Selective Service System, every major military installation (as directed by the Secretary of Defense), every post office and all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and national cemeteries.
The act also directs VA medical centers to fly the POW/MIA flag on any day on which the flag of the United States is displayed.