A new law has just banned the most ironic yet modern practice of our times: starting this year, Chinese-made American flags will no longer be allowed in the US military.
The law was written into the 2014 omnibus bill by Californian congressman Mike Thompson, and specifically states that all flags flown by American armed forces be 100% “made in America,” which should have been an obvious move for years, but apparently wasn’t. “I thought it was appalling our Department of Defense would have flags made in other countries,” Thompson said to CBS San Francisco, adding that he passed this law “so that our men and women in uniform never have to fight under a U.S. flag made overseas.”
And why wasn’t Old Glory sewn in the US? Unsurprisingly, it’s much cheaper to manufacture American flags in China than it is in the US, and though federal law dictates that the Department of Defense should buy domestic products, there’s nothing more American than getting a Chinese sweatshop worker to sew your star-spangled banner for pennies. According to the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, 94% of American flags imported to the US last year were made in China.
However, Thompson could only ban Chinese-made flags from the military: all other government agencies will be allowed to purchase their flags from China.