Government Flown American Flags Not American Made?

A nation’s flag is supposed to be the symbol of patriotism. Evidently, even patriotism is being outsourced overseas. At least partly. A bill floating in limbo in Congress is meant to curb that.

Currently, federal law requires that U.S. flags purchased by the federal government contain a minimum of 50% American-made materials. The legislation would require federal agencies to purchase only flags made entirely in the U.S. “from articles, materials, or supplies 100% of which are grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States.”

S.1188 – All-American Flag Act was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH] June 13, 2011. It unanimously passed the Democrat controlled Senate on July 26, 2011 and was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the Republican controlled House two days later. According to the Library of Congress’ Thomas system (so named in honor of Thomas Jefferson), nothing has happened with the bill since then.

On the day before the United States’ Independence Day, Senator Brown called on the House to pass the bill. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. imported $3.6 million dollars worth of American flags last year. $3.3 million of that came from China. Imported American Flags.

Apparently we need a bill that says American taxpayer dollars being spent by the government shouldn’t go towards the purchase of American flags to be flown at American government locations that weren’t made in America. How much of that money was spent by the government on foreign-made flags hasn’t been reported. There’s also current bill that takes that idea a step further. Genuine American Flag Act which was reintroduced as H.R.474, in April 2011, by Representative Dan Boren [D-OK] seeks to ban all sales of

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foreign-made American flags in the United States. It also sits in the House. Ideally, you would think that anything the government spends American tax dollars on should be American made. If our own taxes don’t go to support

domestic business then how can we expect jobs to come back home in the public sector?

“In a time when we face economic hardship, it is critical to invest in the manufacturing base,” Brown said during Senate consideration of his bill last year. “There is no product that deserves a U.S.A. label more than American flags.”

Now in the grand scheme of things $3.6 million worth of manufacturing may not be a lot, especially when compared with the size of our economy but the very symbol of American patriotism should at least support the country. It also leads to the question of how much of our tax dollars are being spent outside of the country? Shouldn’t government purchases be on items made domestically? If we keep spending our money overseas then our stability will continue to be in jeopardy. That’s just basic economics. How can the government or elected officials who receive tax dollars and spend them outside of the country admonish domestic corporations for shipping jobs off shore to take advantage of cheaper prices when the government itself isn’t following suit? This is where capitalism shows its uncaring nature. It holds no allegiance to anything other than profit.

Uncle Sam

[image via inky mess]

I’m sure Betsy Ross would feel the same way.


Jaylon Carter

Jaylon Carter is a blogger, social media marketing consultant, former Congressional Campaign Media & Communications Director, and a Hip Hop artist who performs under the stage name Timid (@timidmc). He also runs, a subscription newsletter informing parents of current happenings on the Internet.

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