American flags made in China? You’re kidding, right?

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BY TONY CHEONG: Can you imagine buying an American flag that was made in, say, China? Or Canada? Or Mexico?

Neither can State Sen. Janet Nguyen.

The Senate Governmental Organization Committee last week passed Nguyen’s Senate Bill 1012, which requires that all American and Californian State flags purchased with taxpayer dollars by California state and local governments must come from American manufacturers, made in the U.S. 

BY TONY CHEONG: Can you imagine buying an American flag that was made in, say, China? Or Canada? Or Mexico?

Neither can State Sen. Janet Nguyen.

The Senate Governmental Organization Committee last week passed Nguyen’s Senate Bill 1012, which requires that all American and Californian State flags purchased with taxpayer dollars by California state and local governments must come from American manufacturers, made in the U.S. 

 “The greatest symbol of our national pride is the American flag," Nguyen said. "It makes sense to have both our American and California flags manufactured by Americans here at home in the United States. California should not weaken our symbol of national pride by allowing governments to purchase American or Californian flags with taxpayer dollars from foreign countries."

The California Department of General Services currently purchases national flags from the Prison Industry Authority. They are manufactured by the fabric products enterprise at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. However, there is no requirement to purchase American or California flags from this facility or from any other facility in the country. Therefore, local governments purchase flags from a variety of places.

 Government Code lays out the current requirements for the display of flags. This includes, with reasonable restrictions, that the flag of the United States be prominently displayed during business hours in various locations, such as courtrooms, universities, and state, county, or municipal public buildings. Since current law remains silent on the sources from which these flags are purchased by governments in the State of California, SB 1012 would put regulations on local governments in California.

“The 1.8 million veterans in California hold the American Flag in the highest regard as our national symbol.  It is the flag under which all U.S. military members have fought and in some cases been wounded or died under. When we learned that another state had passed a similar law, we felt it was time for the California state government to also set an example and require that the national flag and the state flag be made in the United States. We want to thank Senator Janet Nguyen for agreeing to carry this legislation,” said Pete Conaty, veterans advocate and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.

 SB 1012 is co-authored by Senators Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Fuller and Nielsen as well as Assemblymembers Brough and Mathis.

It's a law that shouldn't be necessary. Our local governments should know better than to purchase flags made anywhere other than in America.

Evidently, they don't know better.

I'm for fewer, not more, laws, but this is a good one.

Do you have a comment, question or news tip for Tony? Email her at tonyontown@yahoo.com.