Federally funded organizations will be required to buy U.S. flags that are American made, if new rules are passed in the Senate.
The proposed All-American Flag Act bans using federal funds to purchase a U.S. flag that is not completely made domestically.
“Funds appropriated, or otherwise available to an agency, may not be used for the procurement of any flag of the United States, unless such flag has been 100 percent manufactured in the United States from articles, materials, or supplies that have been grown or 100 percent produced or manufactured in the United States,” the new legislation states according to the Congress website.
The push has already received bipartisan support from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) who have already introduced the legislation. The pair felt compelled to support local businesses because the national flag symbolizes “identity, resolve, and values as one people.”
“To honor its significance, the federal government should only use flags entirely manufactured in the United States,” Collins said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the symbol of our nation is preserved while supporting American jobs and manufacturers.”
Current legislation only requires federal funds be spent on national flags that are at least 50 percent American made. The House had previously tried to increase the minimum percentage but stalled twice during the years 2011 and 2014.
The changes would still allow the heads of agencies to decide if there was “satisfactory quality and sufficient quantity” of the national flag. President Donald Trump will also have the power to waive the requirement to purchase American made flags if local supplies become unavailable. If a waiver is granted the president will be required to publish a notice of the waiver in the Federal Register within 30 days.
Government vessels in foreign waters, purchases less than the “acquisition threshold,” non-appropriated funds operated by an agency, military commissary, and military exchanges will remain exempt from the new rules and be able to buy flags with a lower percentage of American made materials.
The changes were first submitted to the House on Jan. 3, 2019, and have already been received, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
The requirement to buy domestically made national flags will need to be approved by both the House and Senate before it can be passed into law, take effect, and be fully enforced.