Today, in honor of Flag Day, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined veterans on board the USS COD to announce the reintroduction of the All-American Flag Act, legislation that would ensure that flags purchased by the Federal government are entirely made in America.
"American flags should be American-made," Brown said. "It is the right way to honor our veterans and it is the right way to support American workers and businesses. With Ohio companies proudly producing the American flag, taxpayer funds should not be used to purchase those made in other countries. The All-American Flag Act of 2013 would ensure that the government buys flags that are entirely produced with American-made materials."
In 2011, Brown first introduced the All-American Flag Act, which the Senate passed unanimously. The Federal government is currently required to purchase flags made from 50 percent American-made materials; the legislation would require the government to buy flags that are entirely produced with American-made materials.
Brown, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, was joined on the deck of the USS COD by U.S. Navy Submarine Force veteran Bill Henderson of Aurora, a Submarine Veterans COD Base 1st Vice Commander, along with several other members of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc. (USSVI). The USS COD is an entirely American made, U.S. Fleet submarine from World War II. Now a National Historic Landmark, the USS COD is docked in the North Coast Harbor of Lake Erie and is maintained and operated as a memorial to the more than 3,900 submariners who lost their lives during the 100 year history of the United States Navy Submarine Force.
"I understand the concepts of fair trade and global economy," Henderson said. "But the idea of the American Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and U.S. government institutions serving under a United States flag made overseas would be like this submarine flying an American flag made in Japan, and that is simply wrong. If our flag flies over an American ship or a vet's grave at a federal cemetery, it should be American made. It's as simple as that."
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the value of American flags imported into the United States last year was $3.8 million--including $3.6 million from China. The All-American Flag Act would support American workers and businesses, including RS Sewing from Canton, the largest supplier of American Made Stick Flags in the United States; and Annin and Company from Coshocton, founded in 1847, the nation's oldest and largest producer of American flags with more than 500 workers nationwide.
"As a dedicated company that does not import any product to be used with our American flags, RS Sewing Inc. is honored to support this common sense legislation. Thank you Senator Brown," RS Sewing said in a statement.
Described as "Congress' leading proponent of American Manufacturing," Brown--a member of the U.S. Senate Manufacturing Caucus--has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing. Last Congress, legislation sponsored by Brown and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, passed the House. This bipartisan legislation would require the Commerce Secretary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the nation's manufacturing sector and submit to Congress a National Manufacturing Strategy (NMS). The goals of the NMS are to increase manufacturing jobs, identify emerging technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and strengthen the manufacturing sectors in which the U.S. is most competitive.
According to Annin's web site, below are Ohio stores that sell 100 percent American-made flags.
Creative Banners Flags & Kite
Falls Flag & Banner Co.
Flag Lady's Flag Store
Flaggs USA Jungle Jim's
Lawson Flag Supply