Many Democrats had a busy Fourth of July weekend denouncing and flipping off America, and its primary symbol, our flag. On the other hand, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik stood up for the Stars and Stripes.
The New York Republican introduced a bill that would require the U.S. government to purchase and display only American flags that are entirely made in the United States.
“The American flag is an enduring symbol that represents the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and a way to show our patriotism,” Stefanik said in a press release outlining her Make American Flags in America Act of 2022.
“Several small businesses across America, including in upstate New York and the North Country, share their American pride by making and selling flags. I am proud to support their important work and ensure American flags used by the federal government are completely made in the USA!”
Most flags are already made here. The Flag Manufacturers Association of America, or FMAA, says that 94 percent of all flags sold domestically are U.S. products.
Of the remaining 6 percent, 94 percent of those come from China.
But even a “Made in USA” label might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
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Last year Marketplace.org reported that under federal law the Defense Department must 100 percent, made-in-America flags, yet other federal agencies can get away with buying those that are made with just half of of domestic materials. And even then the government can request a waiver to get around that.
Meanwhile, manufacturers can claim their products were made here, even if the company uses imported ink.
The FMAA notes that several bills similar to Stefanik’s have been introduced in Congress since 2003. Yet they never seem to get traction.
Last month, on Flag Day, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, the Senate version of Stefanik’s bill was filed. Its sponsors included Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-West Va., and Rick Scott, R-Fla.
A press release issued by Brown’s office noted that in 2017, America imported 10 million U.S. flags – all but 50,000 of which came from China.
In a statement, Sen. Scott said, “I am proud to join my colleagues in leading the All-American Flag Act to ensure that American flags, bought with American taxpayer dollars, flying over the property of America’s government are American made.”
“There is absolutely no reason why taxpayer dollars should go to foreign governments to buy American flags. This legislation is a no-brainer,” Scott added.
“When I was governor of Florida we signed this commonsense legislation into law, and I am proud to continue this effort in the Senate. I encourage my colleagues to support its passage.”