WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Shontel Brown (OH-11), alongside Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), introduced the All-American Flag Act. If signed into law, the bill would require the federal government to only purchase flags that are 100 percent made in America.
“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,” Congresswoman 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 purchased with federal tax dollars are made here in America.”
“American flags should be made in America, period,” Senator 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.”
“This week, we celebrated Flag Day and fittingly, my colleagues and I re-introduced 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 Congressman 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.”
“There is no reason the American flag should be made anywhere other than in the United States of America,” said Congressman 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.”
“The American flag is both a symbol of our nation and its fundamental promises of freedom, justice and equality for all our people,” said Congresswoman 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.”
The All-American Flag Act would require the federal government to only purchase flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials entirely manufactured in the U.S. Current law requires the federal government to purchase flags made of only 50 percent American-made materials. 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.
Last Congress, Congresswoman Bustos secured a provision in the final Congressional package to encourage all federal agencies to purchase only American flags made in America and with American products.