Many U.S. folks, including ourselves, try to buy "made in America" products whenever possible. Of course, for many items, such as, electronics and cameras, that's no longer possible.
To Grenville and myself, the thought of buying an American flag labelled "made in China" or anyplace other than the USA, just seemed wrong. And, our U.S. flags were always made here.
Sure, U.S. made often costs more, but that was not the issue.
YET, until this past Friday, American flags purchased by the U.S. military were not — ready or not — completely "made in America."
Where were these made? Not necessarily all in America, because although major DoD vendors are U.S. companies, materials like fabrics or inks could have been outsourced abroad.
Not any more. Under new rules, all U.S. flags will be entirely made in America. as part of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last month.
The new policy for flags went into effect Friday, Feb 21, and states that: American flags, “including the materials and components thereof, must be made in the United States."
That's just plain common sense to us.
What took them so long —and who was responsible?
Credit goes to Congressman Mike Thompson, a California Democrat, seeking a ninth term in Congress. Thompson has said that he pushed for the change because he thought it was just common sense that American flags be made in the U.S. (hmm, you think?)
“American flags are something we can all agree on should be made in America,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right that our military service men and women should be fighting under flags made in foreign countries. Our men (and) women in uniform should serve under American-made flags.”
Thompson wrote a provision that applied the existing Berry Amendment passed in 1941 to flags as well. That amendment restricts the DoD from buying food, clothing, fabrics, textiles or tools that aren’t grown or produced in the U.S.
The Berry Amendment requires the DoD to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products, most notably food, clothing, fabrics and specialty metals. Congress originally passed domestic source restrictions as part of the 1941 Fifth Supplemental DoD Appropriations Act to to protect the domestic industrial base in time of war, specifically WWII.
And, before last week, American flags had not been included on that list.
Now, they are. We encourage everyone who displays flags depicting their country, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere, to seek out those made in their own country.
It's just common sense to us — what do you think?