A bipartisan group of United States senators, including centrist Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have proposed a bill that would require the federal government to buy only American flags produced entirely on American soil.
Currently, the U.S. government can purchase flags that contain 50% American-made materials, citing a press release from Sen. Manchin's office.
However, the implementation of the All-American Flag Act would prevent the federal government from buying and using any flag that was not manufactured entirely in the U.S., or solely comprised of American-made materials.
"Every day, students, Veterans, soldiers, scouts, and Americans pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. We salute it; we fight for it; we honor it and celebrate it," said Manchin, via Twitter.
"I am proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan All-American Flag Act to require the federal government to purchase flags produced entirely on American soil with American materials, which will create good-paying jobs and spur economic growth across the country. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this important legislation and I look forward to getting it across the finish line and signed into law."
In 2015, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. imported $4.4 million worth of American flags, with $4 million of the purchases coming from China.
And two years later, the U.S. reportedly imported 10 million American flags. However, all but 50,000 of the flags hailed from China, according to Manchin's office.
The bill's other sponsors include Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Rick Scott, R-Fla.
"American flags should be made in America, period," said Brown. "Today, half of the materials that our women and men in uniform fight under can be made in China. We have to change that.
"We shouldn't use taxpayer dollars to purchase American flags made overseas when American companies — and companies right here in Ohio — proudly produce the American flag. My bipartisan All-American Flag Act would ensure that the government buys flags that are entirely produced and manufactured in America, by American workers."
Sen. Collins echoed a similar sentiment, by saying, "The American flag serves as a symbol of our identity, resolve, and values as one people. To honor its significance, the federal government should only use flags entirely manufactured in the United States.
"This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the symbol of our nation is preserved while supporting American jobs and manufacturers."
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