WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill written by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) requiring the federal government to buy only flags that are American-made cleared the Senate yesterday. The Federal government is currently required to purchase flags made from only 50 percent American-made materials. Brown’s legislation, the All-American Flag Act, would require the government to buy flags that are produced entirely with American-made materials. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1).
“The American flag is one of our nation’s greatest symbols,” Brown said. “It’s only fitting that we honor our veterans and express our patriotism by supporting American workers and businesses. American flags should be American-made and – with this vote – we’re one step closer to seeing this bill become law. Now it’s time for the House to pass this commonsense bill.”
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the value of American flags imported into the United States in 2012 was $3.8 million—including $3.6 million from China. The All-American Flag Act would directly benefit American workers and businesses, including RS Sewing from Canton – the largest supplier of American-made stick flags in the U.S. – and Annin and Company in Coshocton – the oldest and largest flag manufacturer in the U.S.
In 2011, Brown first introduced the All-American Flag Act, which the Senate passed unanimously that year but stalled in the House of Representatives. Brown is a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, currently Vice-Chair of the Senate Auto Caucus, and was recently named incoming Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus. Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown continues his fight to strengthen Buy America provisions in the U.S. government.