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 (D) to write legislation requiring flags purchased by the Department of Defense (DoD) be 100 percent “Made in America.” 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 US 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.
“I am proud to have worked to pass this law so that our men and women in uniform never have to fight under a US flag made overseas, and so that our Defense Department never again spends American tax dollars on a US flag made overseas,” said the Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
Thompson toured North Bay Industries on Tuesday. The Rohnert Park company makes thousands of flags each year, mainly for the Department of Veteran Affairs, which was already required to source memorial flags made in the United States with American-only materials.
North Bay Industries is a vocational rehabilitation center dedicated to assisting mentally, physically, and developmentally disabled adults through participation in agency-sponsored training, housing, and employment programs.
Thompson had visited the Rohnert Park facility last year and found out that not all flags purchased by the military were being made in the US, which he said prompted the need for the legislation.
这让北湾（North Bay）民主党国会议员麦克·汤普森（Mike Thompson）深受刺激，他写信给美国立法机构要求美国国防部（Dod）购买的星条旗必须是百分之百美国制造。这个提议现在已经变成了法律，国旗的购买成为了美国2014年综合拨款法案的一部分。
汤普森周二的时候参观了北湾工业区，罗纳公园公司（Rohnert Park company)每年生产几千面国旗，主要销售给美国退役军人事务部（Department of Veteran Affairs），退役军人部早已要求该公司使用由美国本土原料制造的有纪念意义的国旗。