Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with veterans at American Legion Post 598 in Kettering. Brown was in the area this week to drum up support for his bill that would require the federal government to buy American flags that are made only with U.S. materials inside the country.

Bill would require feds to only buy American flags made in U.S.

One of Ohio’s two senators wants the U.S. to buy American flags in the same model as he buys the suits he wears to work every day.

Sen. Sherrod Brown is sponsoring a bill that would require the federal government to buy flags made in America with 100 percent American materials. The federal government is currently only required to buy flags made from 50 percent American materials, according to Brown’s office.

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“American tax dollars should go to American-made products that support American jobs, especially when the product is a symbol of our nation,” Brown said. “We need to produce the symbol of our country in a way that supports American jobs and American manufacturers.”

Brown, who hails from the Cleveland area, has often told a story about how he buys his suits from a place that employs union workers and is made “seven miles” from his house. Like flags, it has become difficult to find fully American-made suits anymore “because we’ve had a stupid trade policy,”Brown said.

The flag proposal is just one bill Brown has in the works to require the federal government to “buy American.” Brown said he’s also working with Sen. Rob Portman on a bill to require the federal government to buy only American supplies for infrastructure projects funded by taxpayer dollars.

“We’ve lost too many jobs in this country because of bad trade agreements,” Brown said. “This is one we can fix…it’s really just the principle of the thing.”

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Brown’s flag act was approved in the U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2014 but was previously stalled in the House of Representatives. The House has already passed the bill this year and it’s now up to the Senate to send the proposal to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Brown was welcomed to American Legion Post 598 in Kettering this week where he drew support from local veterans for his flag bill. Brown also recently supported a bill in Congress honoring the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.

The post’s commander, Ketih Eastmann, said he didn’t know until recently that not all American flags used by the federal government were made in the U.S. Brown’s bill, he said, has his support.

“We’re glad to discuss a topic that many feel strongly about, the American flag. Vets have fought for it and many have perished for it. Senator Brown has sponsored a bill that had passed the House and is now going through the Senate that addresses the made-in-America belief,” Eastmann said. “Many veterans and civilians alike feel a sense of pride when they view her colors.”

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