Minnesota Flags Imported Flags.

While reading the Labor Day sales circular from Harbor Freight Tools I noticed this patriotic item with big savings but a curious caveat:

US Flags not Available in Minnesota?!?

“Not available in Minnesota”? …Really?!?

I thought, this couldn’t be due to a lack of Harbor Freight Tools locations in “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” (although, they’ve only got three locations), and, if Minnesota stopped being patriotic, suffered an exodus all of it’s Republicans, or decided to secede from the Union I certainly would have heard something about it by now.

As it turns out, Harbor Freight Tools isn’t crazy for not selling this American flag in Minnesota after all: The craziness fully rests with the State of Minnesota, who, thanks to State Rep. Tom Rukavina of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and an overwhelmingly Democratic-controlled legislature banned sales of foreign-made American Flags as of January 1, 2008*.

Minnesota’s not alone: Michigan recently passed a law requiring all state buildings to fly flags made in America. And, while Uncle Sam currently requires all flags flown on or in federal buildings to contain at least 50% American-made materials, the “All-American Flag Act” proposed by Democrats and passed in the US Senate would require them to be 100% American made.

(FYI: Of the $302.7 million worth of fabricated US flags, banners, bunting, and emblems shipped by American manufacturers in 2010, $3.2 million worth, or just 1.1%, was imported, with about 88% of those imports coming from China – source.)

As a flag-waving, God-loving US Citizen I’d like to say “It’s about time our lawmakers finally took a stand!” You know, just like they did with clothing, finished textiles, cameras, televisions, computers, tires, sardine canneries, athletic footwear, home goods, aftermarket auto parts, and hundreds of thousands of other products (Oh yeah – and possibly tools).

But, I’m not going to say it. Why? Because it doesn’t matter where our Nation’s flags (or, any other products we use) are manufactured. No matter what the product is, somebody’s going to find a way to make, sell, or service it better and/or cheaper. The job of our legislators is to help make sure that “somebody” is a company in the United States of America by making it easier and less expensive for Americans to innovate, create and operate business in the United States.

And, they’d better hurry: It looks like America’s competitiveness has slipped again, …for the 4th straight year.

* Minn. 2007 Laws, Chapter 135, Article 8, Section 2. – “[325E.65] SALE OF AMERICAN FLAGS. No person in the business of offering goods at retail may sell or offer for sale in this state an American flag unless the flag was manufactured in the United States of America. EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective January 1, 2008.”

Thanks for reading!

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