Is your USA Flag made in the USA?
Imagine that it’s the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or the anniversary of 9/11 and you want to show your patriotism. You go to your local department store or drug store and see a bunch of flags on display. You buy one, but when you get home you realize that it was made in China. So in your efforts to show your support for the USA, you ended up donating at least 40-50% of the price you paid directly to the Chinese Communist Party. Yeah, that one that’s intent on destroying the USA and your way of life.
Don’t get mad. Get educated.
How did we get here? It’s not really the store’s fault. Their job is to find the highest quality product at the cheapest price so they can make the most profit while making you, their customer, happy. It’s not the distributor’s or wholesaler’s fault. Their job is to match manufacturers with retail stores. And it’s not even the manufacturer’s fault. They have plants and skilled workers creating these products, and they have families and communist officials to feed.
No, the fault really lies in you, in me, and in every one of our fellow citizens who have grown addicted to snatching up products at the cheapest price we can find them, while not having the time to take 5 seconds to look at the label for Country of Origin nor factor where it was made into our decisions. We just want “cheap” (or better yet “free”). But the fact that you’re here means you’re one of the few who are starting to “get it”, and your job now is to spread the word.
Are there still American Flags not made in China?
Yes. For a while, it looked pretty grim. While in our hearts our flag is priceless, the reality is that physically you’re talking about a dyed piece of fabric stapled to a plastic stick. China has a virtual monopoly on dyed pieces of fabric, staples, and plastic sticks, so it was only natural since their entry into the WTO in 2001 that they would eventually monopolize flag making.
But as more of our fellow citizens start to educate themselves about the evils of the Chinese Communist Party, the more they are demanding that “obvious” products should be made in the USA. And the most obvious things that should be made in the USA are patriotic paraphernalia, as well as political merchandise.
Are Trump MAGA hats made in China? How about Biden hats?
Speaking of politics. This is a question I hear a lot. If Trump is so pro-America, why are all his hats made in China? Or on the flip side, if Biden is pro-Union, how much his hats are made in China?
If you believe either of these statements, it means you’ve been brainwashed.
Trump’s official MAGA hats are made in the USA by Cali Fame, a company based in Los Angeles. Similarly, Biden’s hats were also made in the USA. So why are so many people on social media convinced that all their stuff is made in China?
To understand what’s happening, look at the price of the hats on the official sites. Both Trump and Biden sell one hat for $30. This is probably pretty close to what it cost to have it made in the USA.
But of course, your average citizen can’t afford to pay $30 for a hat. So they go on Amazon. Sure enough, you can find dozens of vendors selling Trump and Biden hats. Most people will just buy the first one they see, or the one with the highest number of reviews. And all except for this one on Walmart and this one on Amazon were made in China.
So what happened? The designs of campaign marketing merchandise are technically copyrighted, but campaigns typically turn a blind eye when people illegally counterfeit their designs, because as long as they’re representing the campaign design faithfully, they’re helping to spread the message. Plus, a political campaign with limited funds isn’t going to hire lawyers to enforce copyrights like, say, a Disney would. And so you end up with thousands of counterfeit Trump and Biden hats out there with “Made in China” labels.
What does that have to do with flags?
The principle is the same. In the case of the US flag, there’s no copyright on the design, which is in the public domain. And while there are regulations on the books that make it illegal to represent the flag “disrespectfully”, as well as legal requirement for specifying the country of origin, there’s nothing preventing anyone at all from printing the flag and selling it.
As with political merchandise, the only real “checks” come from consumers themselves, not lawyers or lawmakers. And most consumers, of course, look only at the price tag and not the country of origin.
In 2003, just two years after China’s entry into the WTO, several flag manufacturers saw the writing on the wall and created a new non-profit group called the Flag Manufacturer’s Association of America. The stated goal of this organization was to certify flags that were made in the USA with domestic resources and labor.
Look for the seal to the left to make sure that the flag you’re buying is authentic and wasn’t imported from another country. There may be some US-made flags that don’t have this seal (some flag makers may not wish to pay the fee that’s required to get certified), but every flag that has this seal is guaranteed to be made in the USA.
Like I said, consumers are getting more and more educated, but there are still far too many China-produced American flags littering Walmart and Amazon.
Worse, many of them are misleading in their product listings. The listing to the right is a good example. For example, look at how under the picture of the flag, they have the letters “USA” which is meant to fool people into thinking it was made in the USA.
Avoid brands like “Cheeerrrs”, “Anley”, “G128”, “Vipper”, “VSVO”, “OLYNIK”, “MUFRI”, and many others. They manipulated Amazon to get to thousands of reviews (in some cases tens of thousands), and even put patriotic messaging in their product pages, with messages like “Show your patriotism”, “God bless America”, “Honor the veterans”, complete with patriotic stock photos. But don’t be fooled if you see tens of thousands of 5-star reviews–they are Red Chinese through and through.
The good news is that there are lots of flag manufacturers in the USA who still take pride in their craftsmanship. Some of these companies date back over 100 years.
Flag manufacturing is one of those industries that should be a blueprint for all industries on how not to lose to China. First, corporations and government contractors making bulk purchases would be shunned and mocked by the public for sourcing to China. Second, consumers are actively seeking out manufacturers in the US. Third, manufacturers are cognizant that consumers do have a choice, and so they continue to take pride in their craftsmanship and continue to maintain the highest quality, rather than producing poor quality goods and hoping that consumers will buy them just because they’re “made in the USA” (which is what the US automakers did in the 1980s and 1990s). We can only hope and pray that 20 years from now more of our industry will have come back to the USA, and not the alternate scenario of the USA having lost all of its manufacturing to China except for American flags.
I’ve tried to pick out the best USA-made flag manufacturers below; they’re all very similar in terms of their offerings (nylon, polyester, or cotton-polyester fabrics in various sizes). You won’t go wrong buying from any one of them.
Best USA Flag Manufactuers in the USA – Quick Ranking
|1||Rushmore Rose USA||View on Amazon|
|2||Grace Alley||View on Amazon|
|3||Annin Flagmakers||View on Amazon|
|4||Valley Forge||View on Amazon|
|5||Star Spangled Flags||View on Amazon|
|6||Made in USA Flag Company||View on Amazon|
|7||GiftExpress||View on Amazon|
Rushmore Rose is by far the most highly and most often reviewed flag on Amazon. They’re a company that started in 2016 out of Houston, Texas.
It comes with heavy duty brass grommets for putting a cable or rope through, as well as a quadruple stitched fly hem to prevent fraying. All the materials used in making the flags are sourced and produced in the USA.
The main gripe that many users had about the flag (which you can read in negative reviews from 2019) was that Rushmore Rose stamped their name and their Web site address directly on the edge of the flag. In many ways this was necessary to avoid counterfeiters hijacking their listings on Amazon. But the reviewers had a good point that this does detract from the flag. It seems that as of 2021 they’ve changed their design so that they print their name on a label that’s sewed onto the edge of the flag and can easily be removed now. This seems to be a good compromise, and it’s a good sign that they listen to their customers.
2. Grace Alley
Not too far behind Rushmore Rose in terms of popularity on Amazon is Grace Alley, a veteran-owned family business out of Florida. I love how small family-owned businesses like this have been able to find success on Amazon over big companies by putting up their high quality products and getting great reviews. This is the way Amazon was supposed to work.
Sadly, China companies have manipulated Amazon’s system with misleading product information and fake reviews to push their way to dominance. So while Amazon democratized e-commerce, China companies saw Amazon’s openness as opportunities for exploitation. And Amazon is either clueless to stop it or worse–unwilling to stop it.
One would hope that Amazon would wake up and put an end to this kind of manipulation of their platform.
Grace Alley’s most popular product is their 3×5 foot nylon flag with embroidered stars and sewn stripes. It boasts vibrant colors and long-lasting performance.
Annin is a American flag maker that’s been in business since 1847. They’re the leading manufacturer of flags made in the USA, and use domestically-sourced materials and some of the most experienced flag makers in the world. Their headquarters are in New Jersey, and they maintain factories in South Boston, Virginia; Coshocton, Ohio; and Cobbs Creek, Virginia.
Annin has a storied history; Annin made the American flags that were used in some of the most iconic moments of history. Annin made the US flag that was draped over Abraham Lincoln’s casket, the one that was raised at Iwo Jima, the ones planted by Commander Peary at the North Pole in 1909 and by Admiral Byrd at the South Pole in 1930, and even the one that was planted on the moon. That last one is a subject of contention–some say that the flag was purchased at Sears by three secretaries at NASA during their lunch break, which would make the flags Annin flags; others say that the flags were purchased by the Government Stock Catalog, which would make them Valley Forge flags. NASA probably intentionally kept it vague so that neither company could use it for marketing purposes (“We don’t want another Tang”).
Annin’s most popular product is this 3×5 foot flag made of Polyurethane (Polyester). It markets itself as “the strongest, longest lasting” flag you can get. The 2-ply polyester is designed to minimize fading over time, and the open weave allows wind to pass through so the flag doesn’t go through too much stress. That said, read through the reviews to set your expectations–it sounds like the reviewers who complained kept their flags out for months at a time or even mounted on cars, and that kind of stress probably isn’t great for any flag.
Check out Annin’s full store for flags with other features, such as different sizes or materials.
4. Valley Forge
Valley Forge is another huge flag manufacturer based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, with manufacturing facilities throughout South Carolina. They were founded in 1882 and to this day remains a family-run business. They started out as a company selling burlap bags and World War I surplus, but started its flag-making operations during the Depression Era. When World War II hit, they began supplying the US government and military with flags, which they continue to do to this day. Valley Forge flags are used in honoring soldiers who are laid to rest, and have been used on the caskets of most American presidents in the last four decades, including Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, and Kennedy. As I alluded to above, it’s unclear whether a Valley Forge flag flew on the moon, but Valley Forge did definitely make all the 4×6 inch flags of different states and countries that flew on Apollo.
Valley Forge products can be found at major retailers, including Amazon. Their most popular flag is this 4×6 foot nylon flag, which also comes in 5×8, 6×10, 8×12, and 10×15 foot sizes and in sleeved or grommeted variations.
In 2015 Valley Forge also entered into a partnership with Wal-Mart to sell a standalone brand called Betsy Flags, which were designed to be more affordable and are made out of Kingstree, South Carolina. You’ll find great deals at Walmart that come really close to pricing you’d get from China-made manufacturers, like this 4 pack of 4×6 inch flags for less than 50 cents a flag, this 29×50 inch flag for under $10, or this 4×6 foot flag for under $30, all made in the USA.
I can’t find a whole lot of background information on Star Spangled Flags, other than it looks like they were incorporated in Virginia in 2017. They do have an excellent Web site with lots of great information about flags, as well as the ability to purchase American flags, state flags, military flags, historical flags, and flags from different counties. And they have a fairly robust Amazon store.
Their most popular flag is this 3×5 foot 100% nylon flag, with embroidered stars and sewn strips. One point in their favor is that they seem to use a traditional label, and do not print their company information on the flag itself like other manufacturers do.
It looks like Star Spangled Flags fell victim to a common problem where third party sellers added themselves as sellers on their product page, and then proceeded to hijack buyers and send them made in China products. This led to lots of negative reviews which ironically hurt them and helped other listings, many which were owned by the same China sellers. Happily it looks like they’ve largely solved this, but be sure to double-check that your order is sold by Star Spangled Flags LLC and Fulfilled by Amazon.
Made in USA Flags is a small family-owned business that’s been selling flags since 1977. They’re located in Dubuque, Iowa, and their flags are 100% made in America, using American materials and American labor in American factories.
They primarily sell through Amazon and consistently get high reviews. Their top selling flag is their heavy duty, premium 2-ply polyester flag that is dyed using aniline dye which pierces the polyester, resulting in vivid, bright color that lasts a long time. It comes in 3×5, 4×6, 5×8, and 6×10 foot sizes.
If you’re looking for small, handheld flags that you can carry around and hand out, my first recommendation would the 4 inch x 6 inch Betsy Flags I mentioned above. But if that’s not available for any reason, GiftExpress also sells these 4×6 inch flags at a reasonable price. These are a great size for giving to kids or waving at parades. They also sell a larger 8×12 inch flag that are perfect for patios and walkways.
Do you know of other America flags not made in China worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!