Michigan lawmakers moved one step closer to requiring something on veteran graves that might have been assumed for many. It is that the little American flags adorning these graves be made in the USA.
Sheryl McCulloch, of Saginaw, a member of the American Legion Post 22, places an American flag on a veteran's grave in the military section of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The state Senate just voted in favor of a law to require these flags be American made. (AP/The Saginaw News/MLive.com, Jeff Schrier)
Members of the state Senate Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of the bill, which would require municipalities to seek out American-made flags for veteran's graves, according to MLive. If a flag -- or even its holder -- were foreign-made, the municipality would be required to post a written explanation why it was the one purchased on its website.
"These men and women are patriots, true American heroes, and they deserve to have their graves marked by flags made in this country," Sen. Roger Kahn, who sponsored Senate Bill 428, told The Saginaw News in June. "Some of these men and women gave their lives to protect our freedoms, and all of them made sacrifices to protect the country they loved."
According to current Michigan law, the local municipality is required to put a flag or flag holder on any veterans grave if petitioned by a veterans organization or five or more citizens, according to MLive. Requiring the flags be American made would be an addition to this law, if it passes in the House and is signed by the governor.
MLive reported that the number of non-U.S.-made flags adorning graves is not known. It also stated that the cost to ensure the flags be made in the U.S. should not be significant.
Small 4-by-6-inch flags made by Milwaukee-based Flags Express cost between $0.36 to $0.30 per flag, depending on the quantity purchased. Similar American-made flags by American Flags 4 Less can sell for as low as $0.13 each.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 94 percent of flags imported to the U.S. were made in China.