Dems want to ban government from buying American flags made overseas

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) on Tuesday called on the House to pass legislation requiring the government to only purchase American flags that are made in the United States.

"Under current law, the American flags that fly from federal buildings — on July 4th and every day of the year — may be up to fifty percent foreign-made," Brown said. "Many American companies, including Annin and Company in Coshocton [Ohio], proudly produce the American flag right here in the United States."

Their bill, the All-American Flag Act, passed the Senate last July, but the House never took up the measure. A similar bill was approved unanimously in the House by the prior Congress.

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Brown and Braley said the House version, H.R. 1344, needs to be discharged by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in order for it to be considered on the House floor. They wrote to Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) asking them to discharge the bill.

"American flags should be made in America using American products," they wrote. "Allowing the government to purchase flags with foreign-made materials is a disservice to our country.

"Now is the time to see that this legislation is signed into law," they added.

While a similar bill was voice-voted in the House in the 111th Congress, which was supported by Issa and Cummings, the House bill has only seven co-sponsors so far, all Democrats: Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Betty Sutton (Ohio).