With little debate, the Iowa House Wednesday evening honored a legislator who served overseas and unanimously passed his bill to require certain flags purchased in the state be made in the U.S.A. Representative Ray Zirkelbach, a Republican from Monticello and an Iowa National Guardsman, authored the bill that requires any government entity in Iowa purchasing a flag to buy one domestically-made.
Zirkelbach said it’s partly a matter of quality control for an important patriotic symbol. He says specific dyes in the red color are visibly different in flags made in the U.S. versus those made in China. Zirkelbach says several other states, including Minnesota, have passed laws encouraging the purchase of only domestic-made American flags.
He says in 2006, some 5.3 million dollars worth of American flags were imported into the U.S. Zirkelbach says there are plenty of flag makers in the U.S. who can keep up with demand. He says his bill echoes moves by the federal government.
He says the Federal Trade Commission already requires flags of 216 square inches in size to be labeled with their country of origin. An earlier version of Zirkelbach’s bill went further and banned all sales of foreign-made flags, but that raised concerns about possibly illegal restrictions on commerce.