New legislation now requires that the Stars and Stripes flying over military bases must be 100 percent made in America.
California Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson, who wrote the new law requiring flags bought by the Department of Defense be U.S.-made, told San Francisco's KCBS
that American flags are often made overseas, particularly in China.
“I thought it was appalling our Department of Defense would have flags made in other countries,” Thompson said. “But it’s also important because we need to be making more in America.”
While the military flag rule passed, a similar bill mandating all government-purchased flags be made in the United States has repeatedly failed; Chinese-made flags are far less costly than those made in the United States.
An estimated $3.3 million worth of American flags are imported from China each year, Fox News reports.
“I am proud to have worked to pass this law so that our men and women in uniform never have to fight under a U.S. flag made overseas, and so that our Defense Department never again spends American tax dollars on a U.S. flag made overseas,” said Thompson, a Vietnam War vet and Purple Heart recipient.
Dale Coots, marketing manager for Annin Flagmakers, in Roseland, N.J., told Fox News lawmakers still need to address the Federal Trade Commission’s lack of enforcement on flag labeling.
"An American flag is considered a textile," she told Fox News. "And a lot of flags that sell online don't have any origin label, which is required under U.S. law."
Foreign imports of the flags were generally valued at about $1 million a year, but surged to $52 million in the weeks that followed the 9/11 terror attacks, Fox News reported.
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