The Oklahoma State Senate unanimously approved a bill that requires state agencies and public school districts to purchase and display American and Oklahoma flags that were manufactured solely in the United States.
State Senator John Sparks, author of Senate Bill 2070, said the plan is Patriotic and is the right thing to do as a sign of support for Americans who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces.
“We should honor what the flags really mean to Oklahomans. ‘Old Glory’ is the living symbol of freedom, democracy and liberty in America, while the Oklahoma flag represents the spirit of pride of our state’s citizens,” Sparks said.
He said the most earnest measure of respect we can give the flags is that they are made in the United Sates by an American worker.
“We must honor the men and women in the armed forces and the National Guard who have defended the very ideals and values the flags represent,” Sparks said.
Senate Bill 2070, which requires any state agencies and public schools to purchase American-made flags, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. In the House, the bill is being carried by Representative Wallace Collins (D-Norman).
Sparks said similar measures have been well received in other states, including Minnesota, Tennessee and Arizona.
The Flag Manufacturers Association of America is supportive of the sentiment behind the Sparks bill and to that end has a “Made in the USA” certification program to ensure flag consumers purchase homegrown products. The U.S. Census bureau estimates that $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from other countries in 2006, mostly from China.