'Made in China' American Flags: A $3Million Import Industry Banned

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By Johnlee Varghese | February 21, 2014 8:43 PM EST

 A U.S. Armed serviceman waves an American flag along 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day parade /Reuters File
A U.S. Armed serviceman waves an American flag along 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day parade /Reuters File

A sizeable portion of the American flags which are bought in the US comes from China. As per figures from Flag Manufacturers Association of America, it is an annual $3million import industry. But finally, thanks to the legislation by North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson, all 'made in China' American flags have now been banned.

The new law requires the Department of Defense to purchase flags which bear the 'made in America' label only. "I thought it was appalling our Department of Defense would have flags made in other countries," CBS quoted Congressman Thompson. "But it's also important because we need to be making more in America."

The 'made in China' US flags have been used by the US Army for long, as they cost significantly less than the 'made in America' flags. The Pentagon has long been barred from purchasing military products from overseas, except in rare circumstances. The new legislation has now barred the DoD but a similar bill, requiring all government-purchased flags to be made in the US, has repeatedly failed.

As per figures from the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, 94 per cent or the $3.6million worth of the flags imported to the US in 2012 came from China. Similarly, the 'made in China' American flags import was $3.3million in 2011 and $2.8million in 2010. The import has steadily been growing, primarily due to the cost factor and that is what the new legislation wants to stop.

Flag Manufacturers Association of America, which has been lobbying for the legislation for long, claimed it is still a serious threat. "Finding a flag made of materials produced in the America can be tricky. U.S. law requires that every flag be labelled with its country of origin, but unless your flag has a specific certification, it's difficult to be sure it was made using all-American materials, including dye, thread and U.S.-based labor," Chris Binner, the vice president of marketing and sales for flagmaker Valley Forge, told The Huffington Post.

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A U.S. Armed serviceman waves an American flag along 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day parade /Reuters File
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