Do You Know Where Your American Flag Was Made?

by Categorized: Data, Politics Date:

The U.S. Census Bureau put out some alarming statistics recently, giving the impression that many American flags fluttering over July Fourth celebrations this week were stitched together in low-cost Chinese factories.

Using data from its Foreign Trade Division, the bureau reported that $3.6 million worth of American flags were imported into the U.S. last year. “The vast majority of this amount ($3.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China,” the bureau reported.

Country-by-country, the import numbers look like this:

China, of course, is the leading source of imported goods into the U.S. But the idea of the Stars and Stripes being produced primarily in a Communist country is the sort of thing that gets tongues wagging on talk radio and generates headlines like “Don’t buy Old Glory made in China,” which appeared in a South Carolina paper last month.

But fear not. While the nation’s trade gap tops out at more than $700 billion – with 40 percent of that money flowing to China – American flags are still overwhelmingly a U.S.-made product, one expert tells me. The problem with the Census Bureau’s statistics is that its Foreign Trade Division is, not surprisingly, interested only in foreign trade. So while the “vast majority” of the flags counted by the Census Bureau were indeed produced in China, the bureau didn’t count the huge number of flags made domestically.

No one does, as most of the American-made flags are produced by private companies under no obligation to reveal their numbers. But James Giraudo, owner of Pacific Coast Flag in Sacramento, Calif., and president of the National Independent Flag Dealers Association, estimates that U.S. producers roll out $50 to $60 million worth of American flags every year – dwarfing the $3 million and change produced in China.

Adding domestic flags into the mix gives a decidedly more U.S.-centric look:

Still, that 6-percent figure is too high for some. Dan Boren, a Democratic Congressman from Oklahoma, has introduced a bill in each of the last three sessions that would ban the importation of foreign-made American flags. The bill. however, has never made it out of committee.

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3 thoughts on “Do You Know Where Your American Flag Was Made?

  1. She H

    Washington is in an uproar over the Olympic uniforms being made in China, some saying they should be “put in a big pile and burned”! Do these same politicians want to put USA flags made in China in the same pile? Seems no one has brought that point up!

    Reply
  2. Scott G

    She H, I’m not for sure where your heart is after reading your statement. I do know where my heart is and will be from now on. My family just recently buried my 82 year old father. He was a Navy Veteran of the Korean War. He was so very proud to have served for his country, so you, and I, and our families, and others, can enjoy the freedom we enjoy here in the USA. My 74 year old surviving mother recieved a United States flag, folded and presented to her by United States Vets honoring his service to his country. He was buried in a U.S. National cemetery located in the state of Arkansas. The service lasted 45 minutes, just as soon as amen was said to the final prayer, the director of the cemetery steped up and told everyone to return to their cars, we were out of time! Our family, laying our loved one to rest in his final resting place, a National Cemetery for Veterans, reserved for Veterans for serving their country, was not allowed time to thank his friends for all they had done, including taking the time away from whatever they were doing that day to be there. Our undescribabley inconsiderate treatment from the cemetery director made us think, where was the flag that covered his body during his service, with honors, then folded and presented by Veteran’s to his grieving wife and family made? As we found out my dear…China…China, or at least up to 50% of it made in China, maybe Korea, maybe just maybe in some other small country. It wouldn’t bother us a bit to burn it, its a total disgrace to my fathers service to his country, and to us, its no different than burning a counterfeit $20 bill.

    Reply
  3. BIG B

    I was so surprised that our Old Glory is not always made in America. I was so stunned. If anything other than born Americans is made here Heaven help us so should our very own American Flag. Guess I’ve been living under a rock for many years. This is truly sad:(

    Reply

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