American Flags That Aren’t American? Oops.

By: Toni Matthews-El - February 26, 2014

How many people pride themselves on being “flag-waving” Americans?

Some citizens own flags which they raise and lower proudly in their front yards. Even if individuals don’t consider themselves all that patriotic, it’s still pretty common to buy a flag on July 4th, the nation’s birthday and a popular US holiday.

What many well-meaning flag buyers don’t know is that there is a disturbing truth to the origin of a number of American flags—one that would make the most jingoist American fall over dead from shame and shock.

Believe it or not, there’s a chance that American flag you were flying wasn’t actually American in origin.

An estimated 7.5 million foreign-made American flags are sold each year. Over $3.8 million in foreign flag purchases were made in 2012 alone.

The origin of many of those imported flags was actually China. My condolences to the families of the ultraconservative patriarchs that didn’t make it through that last sentence.

Given how many items Americans use or wear that come to us directly from China, this probably isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. However, it seems a bizarre thing to import, if only from the perspective of national pride.

Before you pick up your pitchforks and head to Washington, there is some comforting news: These imported flags represent on average mere 5% of all flags used in the United States.

If you want to be absolutely sure that your American flag was made here, it’s best to check the item or company as to where the flag and all related materials are made and shipped from.

Also know, before you get too down on yourself, that our very own Pentagon is a much bigger offender on the terms of American flags not being so American.

Rules went into effect on Friday that said that any and all flags used and purchased by the Department of Defense have to originated in the United States. It seems startling to think that there had to be a rule made for this and that it’s only just now going into effect.

It was a necessary change because prior to this new rule, some flags and many flag-making materials originated in other areas of the world. This adjustment keeps all tax dollars “in house”.

Why would we outsource “Old Glory” in the first place? It comes down to money. Often flags made abroad are less expensive than the flags made in the United States.

Image via Wikimedia commons

About the Author

Toni Matthews-ElToni Matthews-El hails from the land of chunked pumpkins and people who come to a complete stop before making any and every turn. When she isn't contributing articles to WebProNews, she spends her time freelance writing, cheering Liverpool FC, and enjoying life as a hair flower connoisseur. Disclaimer: Written opinions do not necessarily reflect that of WebProNews or its affiliates

View all posts by Toni Matthews-El
  • JCWS1

    Odrama is going to have kittens if this becomes law…

  • Otis Motis

    If you want to buy an American Flag made in America visit my store. http://americanflagsonline.blogspot.com/2013/04/us-state-flag-store.htm

  • Jon Portos

    All very well to complain. However, America also represents the land of
    best business sense and in having the flags made as cheaply as possible such
    American principles are clearly represented.
    So the Communist Chinese making and selling to Capitalist America the US
    flag is not ironic but iconic as Money taking first place over Patriotism. If America was not for sale then there would be no foreign ownership. As China owns
    much of America, holding financial IOU’s, the owner probably is due some rights
    of manufacture and sale. Raging against the situation does not change it.
    America the land of freedom is free to make or unmake its own future. It is not who makes the flag so much as who under it holds it high that counts.