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Soldiers carry them into battle, fly them high over foreign bases, and triumphantly carry them in processions, but those stars and stripes, until now, have often been made in China.
That irony spurred North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson to write legislation requiring flags purchased by the Department of Defense be 100 percent “Made in America,” reports CBS San Francisco.
That legislation is now law, signed as part of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill.
“I thought it was appalling our Department of Defense would have flags made in other countries,” Thompson said. “But it’s also important because we need to be making more in America.”
While the military flag rule passed, a similar bill requiring all government-purchased flags be made in the U.S. has repeatedly failed. The change isn’t cheap. Chinese-made flags cost significantly less than all-American ones.
The new requirements apply the existing Berry Amendment passed in 1941 to flags. That amendment bans the Defense Department from buying food, clothing, military uniforms, fabrics, stainless steel, and hand or measuring tools that are not grown or produced in the United States, except in rare exceptions.
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