Only Arizona, Massachusetts and Minnesota currently have the All American Flag bill passed into law. Last week Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Longwood, presented his to the local government subcommittee with hopes to bring this bill to Florida.
The bill requires all government agencies to use only American-made flags. It began as a class project at Eau Gallie High School given by teacher, Matt Susin, three years ago.
“You have no idea what this means to all those kids who are following this bill. It gives them hope that they can make a change in their community,” Susin said.
HB 225 passed through the subcommittee with unanimous approval, 9-0.
Last year Republican Ritch Workman tried to pass the All-American Flag Act but the bill fell among arguments against proposed criminal penalties for offender.
The bill was filled by Cortes, this time, without any penalties. When questioned on how to enforce a law that had no enforcements, Cortes said the media could shame any agency that chooses to fly foreign-made flags.
"The flag is the most iconic item we have in the nation," Cortes said. "We should be buying and producing in our country."
According to data from the U.S. Census, $3.6 million worth of the flags imported into the U.S. in 2012 came from China.
American manufacturers still make up the bulk of the business, says the Huffington Post, "producing more than $300 million worth of American flags, banners and similar items in 2007, the latest year for which data is available."
The bill has to pass through two more committees to be heard by The House and be passed into law.
U.S. law requires that every flag be labeled with its country of origin, but unless your flag has a specific certification, it’s difficult to be sure it was made using all-American materials and U.S.-based labor.
Tim Landcaster, a Vero High School student spoke at the committee hearing in support of the bill.
“Myself and other students have help work on this bill and we see great pride in our nation’s flag. Seeing a flag that is supposed to represent our profound nation being made in a foreign land is really discouraging and insulting to us students,” Landcaster said.