In the 21st century in an incredibly globalized economic landscape, it might not come as a surprise that one of the great symbols of America, its stars and stripes, is, as often as not, manufactured in China. But there are changes happening.
A sacred emblem of the republic, particularly important to the U.S. military, tasked with defending the rights of its people, the story of making the flag has a special place in the country’s heart.
It was designed in 1776 by Philadelphia upholsterer Betsy Ross, who had provided uniforms, tents, and flags for the Continental Army. This design had only 13 stars, arranged in a circle, representing the 13 original states that declared independence from Great Britain, on a blue ground, with alternating red and white stripes.
This design evolved as new states joined the Union. While American factories historically manufactured plenty of flags to supply the nation’s demand, after 9/11 and China’s accession to the WTO (World Trade Organization), the number of flag imports spiked.
Now, lawmakers and factories in America are taking issue with that affront.