The Department of Defense has issued new rules that American flags flown at military bases the world over must be made in the U.S.
"It's a measure of the level of patriotism within our military to know the flag they salute, flying over that ship or over that base, was made within the United States," said DOD spokesman Mark Wright, according to the Hill. "[It's a] symbol of our national pride."
The new rules come on the heels of appropriations' restrictions previously put in place by Congress that ban the military from using tax dollars to buy flags that are made by other countries.
Advertisement - story continues below
The buy-America concept stretches to include even the products – like ink and thread – that are used to make the flags that fly on U.S. military bases. The rule does not, however, restrict military members from purchasing and flying flags they purchase with their own money from overseas markets.
"It's not as if American flags can't be made here or that somehow the United States doesn't know how to make these flags," said Auggie Tantillo, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, according to the Hill. "We should be the first choice when it comes to supplying the U.S. government."
U.S. manufacturers sell about $300 million of American flags each year, the Flag Manufacturers Association of America reported. The group also reported that the country that America imports the largest percentage of flags from is China.