WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, D-OH, Susan Collins, R-Maine Joe Manchin, D-WV, and Rick Scott, R-FL, introduced the All-American Flag Act, which would require the federal government to only buy flags completely produced and manufactured in the United States.
“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. My bipartisan All-American Flag Act would ensure that the government buys flags that are entirely produced and manufactured in America, by American workers.”
Currently, the federal government must buy flags that contain only 50 percent American-made materials. The Senators’ legislation would require the government to buy flags that are produced entirely with American-made materials and manufactured completely in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Data, in 2015 the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags was $4.4 million. Of that amount, $4 million of imported flags came from China. In 2017, the U.S. imported 10 million American flags. Of those, all but 50,000 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 Collins. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the symbol of our nation is preserved while supporting American jobs and manufacturers.”
Brown and Collins have previously introduced this legislation. This year Manchin and Scott are joining as original cosponsors.
“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,” said Manchin. “I am proud to cosponsor 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. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this important legislation and I look forward to getting it across the finish line and signed into law.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues in leading the All-American Flag Act to ensure that American flags, bought with American taxpayer dollars, flying over the property of America’s government are American made,” said Scott. “There is absolutely no reason why taxpayer dollars should go to foreign governments to buy American flags. This legislation is a no-brainer. When I was governor of Florida we signed this commonsense legislation into law, and I am proud to continue this effort in the Senate. I encourage my colleagues to support its passage.”
Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL-17, and has been cosponsored by Rep. Shontel Brown, D-OH-11, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-OH-13, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-IL-16.
“When a veteran expressed his concern to me about American flags made overseas, I worked across the aisle to require the Defense Department to buy American-made flags,” Bustos said. “I hear time and again that our veterans are disappointed that tax dollars are buying American flags made in countries like China. That’s why this week, as we observe Flag Day, I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to ensure all American flags that are with federal tax dollars are made here in America.”
“The American flag is both a symbol of our nation and its fundamental promises of freedom, justice and equality for all our people,” said Brown. “It only makes sense that American flags purchased with taxpayer dollars should be made right here in America. I am proud to introduce this bill with Congresswoman Bustos to honor the quintessential American symbol and support American businesses and workers.”
“There is no reason the American flag should be made anywhere other than in the United States of America,” said Ryan. “In a competition of a lifetime with China, this legislation provides us an opportunity to not only reshore jobs and bring our supply chain back home, but ensure this great American symbol is made in America, by American workers.”
“As we celebrate Flag Day this week, it’s fitting that we re-introduce this legislation that ensures American flags purchased by the government are both produced and manufactured by American workers here in the United States. This may seem like common sense, but so many of our American flag products sold here in the U.S. are made in China and elsewhere. This has to stop,” said Kinzinger. “Today, I’m proud to co-lead the All-American Flag Act and look forward to our continued work to bolster our supply chains and bring manufacturing home to America.”