Legislation introduced by two Ohio Senators requires that the federal government buy American flags made entirely with materials produced within the country and that they would have to be manufactured in the country only.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, introduced the “All-American Flag Act,” that would make it mandatory for the federal government to purchase flags wholly made in the United States.
“American tax dollars should go to American-made products that support American jobs, especially when the product is a symbol of our nation,” said Brown in a statement on his website.
“We need to produce the symbol of our country in a way that supports American jobs and American manufacturers,” he said.
Brown joined local veterans in Kettering on July 2 to introduce the legislation. Commander Keith Eastman, who joined Brown’s push for the bill, said in the statement: “We’re glad to discuss a topic that many feel strongly about, the American flag. Vets have fought for it and many have perished for it.”
Brown had joined another veteran in Toledo on July 1 to canvass for the reintroduced act. David Blackshear, a Vietnam-era veteran from northwest Ohio talked about the importance of the American flag.
“When I think of the flag, I think of all the soldiers who fought for the freedom of our country. Every time I see our flag standing tall I think of all the people who succeeded in making this country a better place,” said Blackshear in another statement released by Brown’s office.
Under the current law, the government is required to purchase flags made out of materials that are at least 50 percent produced in the United States.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is in the Miami Valley speaking local veterans in Kettering about a bi-partisan bill he’s pushing that would require the federal government to buy flags made in America with American materials @ABC22FOX45 pic.twitter.com/RqlShbVkuN
— Eric Onyechefule (@EricOFOX45) July 2, 2019
Proposals to have wholly made-in-America flags were passed in the Senate twice in the last decade but they were rejected in the House of Representatives.
“Brown’s All-American Flag Act passed the Senate in 2011 and 2014, but stalled both years in the House of Representatives. The bill has passed the House this Congress and Brown will urge his Senate colleagues to pass the bill soon so it can be signed into law,” said the statement.
Brown said he also introduced other legislation along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) a week before the All-American Flag Act was reintroduced, the title of which was “Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects.”
“While Buy America rules apply to some federal infrastructure programs, many taxpayer-funded projects still lack rules requiring the use of American-made products. Brown’s legislation would ensure Buy America rules apply to all federally-assisted infrastructure projects,” he said in the statement.
A previous report in the Huffington Post said 94 percent of the American flags imported into the country in 2012 came from China. The imports become more visible before the Fourth of July celebrations when sales go up.
The American flag is one product whose importation from China pales in front of the $375 billion trade deficit with China, but because of its emotional and political significance, it holds more value than anything else, said a report from The Atlantic.
States legislatures of Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, have limited the purchase of American flags to only American manufacturers, and the state of Minnesota has completely banned the sale of foreign-manufactured American flags.
The country adopted its Flag Code in the Congress in 1942. President Dwight Eisenhower issued an executive order that defined the precise form and measurements of the American flag, during the times when America continued to fight communism in the cold war, reported The Atlantic.