U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) led a bipartisan letter with Rep. Pete King (R-NY-2) to President Barack Obama requesting that he require all federal agencies to only buy American flags that are 100 percent made in America, by American workers, using American grown and manufactured materials.
"American flags bought by the United States government should be made in America, and they should be made by American workers and from American products. We urge the Obama Administration to make this simple buy-American policy a requirement for all federal agencies so that American tax-dollars are spent in support of American products and workers," said Thompson.
Prior to last year, only the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was required to purchase American made U.S. flags. Then earlier this year, Thompson authored and passed legislation requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to only purchase American flags that are 100 percent made in America.
However, federal agencies other than the VA and DOD are only required to purchase flags made of just 50 percent domestic content. Thompson and King requested the Obama Administration expand the VA and DOD's buy-American requirements to U.S. flags purchased by all federal agencies.
The full text of the letter is below.
April 10, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We respectfully request that your Administration require all federal agencies to buy American flags that are 100 percent made in America, by American workers, using American-grown and manufactured materials.
Prior to last year, only the Department of Veteran Affairs was required to purchase American made American flags. Then earlier this year, legislation we introduced was included in the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-76, Sec. 8123), that required American Flags to be covered by the Berry Amendment. As a result, DoD is now required to buy only Berry Amendment-compliant American flags.
These policies are a good start. However, we believe that it is inappropriate for federal agencies to continue to purchase just Buy American Act-compliant American flags, mandating just 50 percent domestic content.
Wherever an American flag is flown, it is a symbol of the freedoms men and women throughout our history have marched, fought and died to secure. There is no greater symbol of our country, our unity, our freedom, and our liberty than our flag. It fills us with pride every time we see it flown or presented by an honor guard.
We look forward to working with you to ensure that all American flags purchased by the federal government are 100 percent made in America, by American workers, with American content.
MIKE THOMPSON PETER KING
Member of Congress Member of Congress