Everyone loves celebrating the 4th of July! A recent poll found that 94% of Americans view flying the American flag a sign of patriotism and pride in their country. But one thing that you might not be thinking about is whether your flag is Made In the USA. If you are shopping for a flag - be it one to fly on a large 20 foot flagpole or a small flag to adorn your flowerpots on your porch - take the time to buy a flag that is Made In America.
My first recollection of showing respect for the flag was in my little home town watching the July 4th parade. First entry was a line of servicemen, one from each branch of the service, carrying the American flag, our state flag, along with the American legion flag, and one more which escapes me. They proudly carried the flag down the street as everyone stood and put their hand over their heart. My dad did and told me to do the same to show respect for the flag. I saw a tear go down my dad’s face and many other faces around us too. To this day, I still get a lump in my throat when a parade begins and Old Glory leads the procession, or the Star Spangled Banner is sung before an event.
As the nation prepares to celebrate its 238th birthday, "Buy America" efforts are still going strong, though emotions on the subject tend to fluctuate depending on the state of the economy.
"It doesn't really matter to me," said Luis Rodriguez, a retired postal worker who last week sat on a picnic table in a Satellite Beach park wearing a postal carrier union T-shirt with the famed red-white-and-blue eagle — the Postal Service's mascot.
"What I do is make sure the correct number of stars and stripes are being used," Rodriguez said. "If not, then I have more of a problem with it. But I'm not really too concerned about where it's made."
Vietnam War veteran and former Marine Corps infantryman Chip Hanson disagrees. He believes in a "buy American" philosophy. Patriotic items — including items that will be used in July Fourth parties this week — should be manufactured in the United States, he said. That includes plastic forks, paper plates and napkins.
"Most definitely it should come from our country," he said. "If you look at what's happening in our country, we've slipped into a situation where we are depending on other nations for our primary items."
I couldn’t agree more. Buying a flag and everything else you can, keeps workers employed and can create more jobs if the demand is there. Retailers aren't tone deaf to patriotic emotions when it comes to buying American. Wal-Mart, for example, pledged last year to buy $50 billion over a decade in American-made products. Still last week, many of the products sold with patriotic themes were made in places such as the Dominican Republic and China. And how's this for irony? Wal-Mart sells U.S. flags for $34.72 with the label on the package proclaiming "Made in the USA." However, a pole and bracket set sold along aside it are imported from China.
That's changing, somewhat, as labor costs in places like China rise, Kirn said. A number of U.S.-based textile and clothing manufacturers, for example, are seeing new life because it's become more cost-effective to manufacture domestically.
"Some of the textile mills in the Carolinas are reopening, and I think there is an appeal to that for a variety of reasons," he said. "You control the supply chain, you know what the raw materials are and you know what you're getting. And you're closer to the place where you're ultimately going to vend it." Plus, it costs a whole lot less to ship something from South Carolina to California than it does from China to California.
Wherever you stand on the issue of prices versus patriotism, July Fourth is a good time for each of us to take stock about how we are spending their money whether we're going to support jobs in the United States or outside the country.
"We have a Declaration of Independence, not a declaration of interdependence," said Simmermaker, an author of two books on buying U.S. made products.
American made Flags and Accessories
Annin Flagmakers have been making flags since 1847 and are now the oldest flag manufacturer in the U.S. Annin has plants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. Not only a great choice for U.S flags, Annin also manufactures Patriotic fabric decorations. I LOVE fabric bunting as a decorating choice as it is reusable, long lasting and a great Eco friendly choice over plastic banners!
Valley Forge Flag Co. has been manufacturing US flags since 1882. Valley Forge Flag Co is headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and manufactures products in South Carolina. Valley Forge carries a great selection of U.S flags as well as patriotic decorations (yay for fabric!), all made in the USA.
Chicago Flag and Decorating Co (CF Flag) has been in business since 1898. . What I LOVE about CF Flag is the line of eco friendly U.S. flags they produce. That’s right, U.S. flags made from recycled items! Their Eco-Glory Flag is made from yarn created by recycled soda and water bottles- and even comes in a recycled box!
Flagsource/J C Schultz Enterprises Inc, manufacturing U.S flags since the 1920s, is the baby of all the companies. Their manufacturing facilities are located in Batavia, Illinois. They carry an impressive selection of U.S Flags.
All of the companies listed above are members of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America which established the “Certified Made in the U.S.A” certification program of American Flags. According to the FMAA website, ” ‘Certified Made in the U.S.A. ‘ certifies that your American flag has been made in the U.S. of materials that are domestic in origin and that all processes in every step of its manufacture were completed in U.S. facilities with U.S. labor”.
You can purchase the Liberty Telescoping Flagpole Kit, a 100% manufactured in America flagpole kit- even the flag is made in the USA! The telescoping flagpole style, is in my opinion, is the most Eco-Friendly as it contains no additional hardware like ropes and anchors. If you have noticed any “Made in the USA” flagpoles in stores, please share in the comments!
Eagle Mountain Flag and Flag Pole sells several different varieties of flag lights, including some Eco friendly energy saving ones.
If you need a flag, or might now be thinking of replacing your current flag, now would be a good time to buy one for Labor Day and Veteran's Day. Our troops and those looking for jobs will thank you.
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