POWs defend Jacksonville-based flag under fire (Carl Crumpler)

The Confederate flag has been at the center of a heated debate for the last few months. Now another flag is under fire. The POW-MIA flag designed by an Orange Park woman is being called “racist” by one published columnist.

The Washington Spectator columnist Rick Perlstein’s piece titled “The Story of the Other Racist Flag’ is making national headlines for labeling the Prisoners of War Flag as a symbol of racist hatred. It was picked up by Newsweek and it’s getting a lot of attention from former prisoners of war.

Retired Col. Carl Crumpler went missing for years as a POW. “It never crossed my mind that I wasn’t going to make it out. It was just one of those things that you don’t dwell on. I was flying over the south part of Northern Vietnam and was shot down on the 5th of July of 1968,” said Crumpler.

While he was missing, a woman in Jacksonville was creating the POW flag.

“I knew the lady well who was the originator of the flag,” said Crumpler. “[Mary Hoff] was the originator of the flag and had the incentive to call New York and get it designed.”

Her husband, Michael Hoff, was a prisoner of war who never came home.

“The emblem that she put together was basically an emblem put together to identify those families that were suffering throughout the absence of their husbands,” said Crumpler.

But in a column published by Newsweek, the author Richard Perlstein writes, “It’s past time to pull it down,” saying it was created by Richard Nixon to “smother the complexity, the reality” of American war crimes in Vietnam.

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