Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 4188—Display of the Flag in Honor of Vietnam Prisoners of War

February 13, 1973

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

The death on January 22, 1973, of Lyndon Baines Johnson, a man dedicated to the cause of peace with honor in Vietnam, prevented him by only a matter of hours from witnessing the attainment of that peace, and by only days from sharing in our rejoicing at the return of the first American prisoners of war.

Although the thirty-day mourning period which is traditional upon the passing of a President does not conclude for President Johnson until February 21, Mrs. Johnson has expressed to me her feeling that the most fitting tribute both to her husband's memory and to the heroism of the returning prisoners would be to return the flag of the United States from half-staff to full staff on the day the prisoners come home.

Lyndon Johnson gave himself completely in the service of his country. As Commander in Chief, he had the highest respect and affection for the men in uniform who gave so much on the battlefields and in the prison camps. On the night that he renounced his candidacy for re-election in order to seek an end to the war, he said of those brave men: "The peace that will bring them home someday will come." Now that peace with honor has come, and now that the men who made that peace possible are coming home, he would surely want the flag to be flying high.

Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, in expression of the Nation's gratitude for the service rendered and the sacrifices made by those Americans who have been prisoners of war in Indochina, those still missing, those who gave their lives, and their families and loved ones, do hereby direct that the provisions of Proclamation 3044 of March 1, 1954, and of Proclamation 4180 of January 23, 1973, with respect to display of the flag of the United States at half-staff be suspended effective on the day of return of the first prisoners to the United States, and that commencing on that day the flag once again be displayed at full staff.

I urge all Americans to join in this observance by displaying the flag at their homes, places of business, and public buildings on the day of return; but I also request that the expression of public sorrow in tribute to the memory of President Lyndon B. Johnson as proclaimed in Proclamation 4180 shall not be diminished.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-three and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-seventh.

Signature of Richard Nixon


NOTE: For a statement by the President on the Proclamation see the preceding item.

Richard Nixon, Proclamation 4188—Display of the Flag in Honor of Vietnam Prisoners of War Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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