Bill forces government entities to buy American flags made in US
All-American Flag Act pushed by Brevard State Rep. Ritch Workman
State Representative Ritch Workman filed a bill that would make it illegal for any government entity to purchase a United States or state flag that is not made in the United States.
It's called the All-American Flag Act and Workman filed the measure on Monday. The bill requires all flags that are purchased by the state, a county, or a municipality for public use to have been grown, produced and manufactured in the United States.
"I don't want to get fancy. If you're buying a flag to put on top of one of your municipal buildings, make sure it's made in the U.S.A., it's that simple," said Workman, a Republican from Melbourne.
The idea was brought to Workman's attention by Matthew Susin, a teacher at Viera High School. Susin says that every year he asks his students what they want to do to impact their community.
"A student of mine stood up and said that he wanted to make all American flags made in the U.S.A. inside government municipalities, and if they can, make it all the way across the state," said Susin.
Workman said, "Even more than just the one paragraph bill, this is going to show a couple hundred high school students how our democracy works, how a bill becomes a law."
A similar measure was proposed in the U.S. House. The intention was to stop the federal government from buying and flying United States flags made outside the country.
According to Workman, China's market share in the United States flag sales has grown to over $4 million annually.
"Let's pump the brakes on that. If there is a savings in buying an overseas flag, it's minimal. Let's not let that stand in the way of making sure the image of our nation is made by American workers in American factories with American supplies," said Workman.
If the bill is approved, a person found violating the requirement would face a second-degree misdemeanor, a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
No Senate sponsor has been filed to the bill and if passed, the law would be active July 1, 2014.