Bill would force government to buy only American-made flags

Politics

An American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building, Nov. 2, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Nov. 1, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBOY) – A group of U.S. senators, including West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to buy only American flags that are produced entirely on U.S. soil.

According to a release from Manchin, currently, the federal government can purchase flags that contain 50% American-made materials. The All-American Flag Act would prevent the federal government from buying and using any flag that was not produced entirely with American-made materials and manufactured completely in the United States. 

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census said that in 2015, the U.S. imported $4.4 million worth of American flags, with $4 million of those imported from China. In 2017, the U.S. imported 10 million American flags; all but 50,000 of those came from China, Manchin’s office said.

“Every day, students, Veterans, soldiers, scouts and Americans pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. We salute it; we fight for it; we honor it and celebrate it,” Manchin said. “I am proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan All-American Flag Act to require the federal government to purchase flags produced entirely on American soil with American materials, which will create good-paying jobs and spur economic growth across the country.”

The sponsors of the bill are: Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Rick Scott, R-Fla; and Manchin.

“American flags should be made in America, period,” Brown said. “Today, half of the materials that our women and men in uniform fight under can be made in China. We have to change that. We shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to purchase American flags made overseas when American companies — and companies right here in Ohio — proudly produce the American flag.”

Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by: Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; Shontel Brown, D-Ohio; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

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