Did you know that more often than not, American flags are manufactured in China? Honestly, this is not surprising to me considering this is the 21st century and outsourcing jobs to the cheapest bidders is quite common.
The American flag was designed by Betsy ross in 1776, and is a symbol of the freedom that our great country offers. While it started out with only 13 stars arranged in a circle, which represented the original 13 states, it now has 50 stars.
This design evolved as new states joined the Union. While American factories historically manufactured plenty of flags to supply the nation’s demand, after 9/11 and China’s accession to the WTO (World Trade Organization), the number of flag imports spiked.
Now, lawmakers and factories in America are taking issue with that affront.
In 2018, a bipartisan legislation was introduced by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown called the “All-American Flag Act.” The legislation prohibits “agencies from using funds to procure a U.S. flag unless such flag has been manufactured in the United States from materials that have been U.S. grown, produced, or manufactured.”
This does put some burden on factories in Pennsylvania and Florida who are working to keep up with the demand for flags. However, they have formed an organization known as the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, which “is dedicated to educating the public on the quality of flags manufactured in the United States and raising awareness of the importance of American flags ‘Made in the USA’, as well as the proper use of our nation’s greatest symbol.”
Pretty neat, huh? I guess it only makes sense that American flags be made in America.
At the Goodwill of South Florida’s Flag Center, workers take particular pride in sewing and embroidering flags by hand with the help of weaving machines that date back to the 1920s. These aren’t just any flags, as this factory makes the flags folded into triangles given by the military to honor the families of fallen soldiers at their funeral.
A staff member said, “It’s an important department because many times people come to us seeking their own independence through jobs, and they wind up working on the country’s biggest symbol of independence which is the flag.”
Goodwill CEO of Industries David Landsberg added, “It’s been great, steady work over the years, but it’s also very important work. It’s an honor to be making these flags for our veterans that have passed away.”
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