The POW/MIA flag will fly year round in Idaho Falls


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IDAHO FALLS — The POW/MIA flag will fly at City Hall year round.

The Idaho Falls City Council voted unanimously Thursday to allow the POW/MIA flag to continue to fly at City Hall, Idaho Falls Power, Idaho Falls Airport, the Vietnam Memorial and the War Memorial along the River Walk.

“We appreciate the conversation that’s happened and the public input,” Councilman John Radford said during Thursday’s city council meeting. “Our veterans have lead the way here on this.”

Along with voting to allow the POW/MIA flag to fly year round, the council also voted to adopt an official flag policy and city flag.

The flag policy deals with the three main government flags: the national flag, state flag and city flag. It also details how flags flown on city property are to be treated in regards to being raised, lowered, replaced and lowered to half mast.

RELATED: Frustrated, angry, emotional citizens speak out about POW/MIA flag

The city adopted the flag with the city’s seal on a blue background as the official city flag. However, Radford said it is likely the city will work towards designing a new official city flag.

The vote from the city council comes after a dispute over advice from city attorney Randy Fife concerning the POW/MIA flag.

In July, Fife recommended removing a POW/MIA flag that has flown on a pole outside City Hall for years. City employees told they had been instructed to remove the flag on July 6.

RELATED: City of Idaho Falls introduces proposed flag policy following POW/MIA controversy

At the time, the National League of POW/MIA families blasted the city’s recommendation calling it “ridiculous” and “disloyal to those who serve our country.”

After reviewing the matter, the city solicited public input. During a public hearing in October, the city received significant backlash from the community. Many of the resident who attended spoke out against removal of the flag.

“I served in Vietnam … and when we came home we got spit on. You take that flag down, you’re doing the same thing to us,” one community member said during that public hearing.

The flag policy says the city “will not forget our nation’s prisoners of war and those missing in action.” Read the full policy regarding the POW/MIA flag here.