Proposed bill would force government to buy US-made American flags

American flag outside the capitol in DC
Photo credit Getty Images

A group of lawmakers want to make sure that American flags are made in America.

A proposed bill titled the "All-American Flag Act" would require the federal government to exclusively purchase flags that are manufactured in the United States, using 100% American-made materials.

The bill was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rick Scott (R-FL).

"American flags should be made in America, period," Senator Brown said in a statement. "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... proudly produce the American flag."

Senator Scott called the legislation a "no-brainer."

"There is absolutely no reason why taxpayer dollars should go to foreign governments to buy American flags," he said.

According to data from the Department of Commerce, the U.S. imported $4.4 million worth of American flags in 2015 -- $4 million of which came from China. In 2017, the U.S. imported 10 million American flags -- all but 50,000 of which came from China.

"The American flag serves as a symbol of our identity, resolve, and values as one people. To honor its significance, the federal government should only use flags entirely manufactured in the United States," said Senator Collins. "This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the symbol of our nation is preserved while supporting American jobs and manufacturers."

Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Shontel Brown (D-OH), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

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