Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are renewing a push to stop the federal government from buying and flying American flags made outside the country.
A bipartisan group of House legislators led by Iowa Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley introduced the “All-American Flag Act,” which would require the government to only buy flags from domestic companies, this month.
It’s believed that about $3.6 million dollars worth of American flags are imported every year, $3.3 million worth coming from China.
“It’s sad that we have to introduce legislation to ensure that any American flag used by the government must be manufactured in this country. The alternative defies common sense,” said New York Rep. Peter King, a Republican.
The All-American Flag Act would require the federal government to purchase flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials, entirely manufactured in the U.S. Current law requires the government to purchase flags made of only 50 percent American-made materials.
“Under current law, the government can buy flags that are only made of 50 percent American-made materials,” the bill text reads. “The legislation would change that to 100 percent.”
An overwhelming number of legislators in both houses of Congress have voted for the bill in the past. It passed the House unanimously in 2010, and then the Senate in 2011. But it stopped short of full passage after the House failed to vote for a companion bill.
The legislation would take effect 180 days after enactment.
“It’s simple — Americans’ tax dollars should be used to purchase flags made in the USA. Allowing the government to purchase flags from foreign countries is embarrassing to America’s greatest symbol,” Braley said.