WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Dan Boren introduced legislation this week to prohibit foreign-made U.S. flags from being imported for sale inside the United States. H.R. 2993, the Genuine American Flag Act, would prevent the importation for sale of foreign-made U.S. flags, regardless of size, six months after the date of its enactment.

“I believe it is critical that we protect the sanctity and honor of our Nation's flag, Boren said. “Many Americans are unaware that the flags they proudly display are actually made in places like China.

The U.S. Census bureau estimates that $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from foreign countries in 2006, and that number has been stable for the past few years. However, most of these imports were from China where weak production standards and low-wage workers produce cheaper versions of the flag than their American counterparts.

“It is imperative that we pass this legislation before foreign companies can continue to gain a foothold in the manufacture of U.S. flags, Boren said. “The most important symbol of the United States should be made by U.S. companies that employ hard-working U.S. citizens.

H.R. 2993 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.