Family donates POW/MIA flag

Published 12:30 am Monday, December 21, 2009

NATCHEZ — Of all the flags that have flown over Natchez, one important one in particular has never been hoisted up the flagpole before.

Local Vietnam veteran Oscar Seyfarth said a POW/MIA flag honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action has never been flown on a public flagpole in Natchez.

But that will soon come to an end as Seyfarth and his brother Eddie Seyfarth have donated a 3-foot by 5-foot POW/MIA flag that will be raised at the Adams County Court House at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Email newsletter signup

“We asked the Board of Supervisors if we donated the flag, if they would fly it,” Seyfarth said. “Of course, they said yes.

“It is just one more thing I think the public needs to pay attention to.”

Seyfarth spent two years in Vietnam and had a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force. His brother spent one year in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps and had a 16-year military career before being medically retired.

Eddie Seyfarth was wounded twice in Vietnam.

The flag will be flown directly under the United State’s flag.

“As many veterans as we have in the Miss-Lou, this is something that needed to be done,” he said. “We remember those that have paid the ultimate price, we know about the ones that are in the (Natchez) National Cemetery, but there are still those who did not return.”

Seyfarth said often people assume that prisoners of war are released and returned to their natural country at the end of a war, but he said that is not always the case.

Seyfarth said there are still thousands of prisons of war and missing in action soldiers that are unaccounted for. He said after many years pass, missing in action soldiers are declared killed in action.

“Even in recent years there are have been reported sightings of American POWs in North Korea and Vietnam,” he said. “It has been 35 years since we left Vietnam. These guys have been suffering for so long.”

Seyfarth said Tuesday’s ceremony will serve to make the public aware of those soldiers.

“Our POWs and MIAs have done nothing wrong,” he said. “They went out to serve their country and do what they felt was right and got captured.

“What’s $30 or $35 for the flag after what they have been through.”