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Oh Say Can You See? Or Buy? The Daily News July 6, 2007

Are you following the stories about U.S. states banning the sale of foreign–made American flags? Five states have either forbidden or are working on legislation to ban the sale of foreign–manufactured flags in their states.

Minnesota passed legislation in May as follows:

H.F. No. 122, 2nd Engrossment – 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)
Posted on May 21, 2007

(see beginning at line 127.29)
No person in the business of offering goods at retail may sell or offer for sale in this
state an American flag unless the flag was manufactured in the United States of America.
(ending at line 127.32) EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective January 1, 2008.

The Times of London ran this article, wondering at the draconian actions of Minnesota. The StarTribune (Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota) brings up the point of potential international trade violations, and Rob from Say Anything is dumbfounded by the attack on the individual’s rights, and turning flag buying into a criminal act.

What’s your take on this legislation? Should we ban the importation of foreign-made fireworks for government sponsored Independence Day celebrations? Then children’s bicycle inner-tubes or maybe televisions?

The U.S. Flag Code says it is a violation to wear clothes that look like flags. Of course, Marc Leepson is correct in pointing out that most of these American flag clothes are made in China. Does this mean you can’t buy flag clothing in Minnesota?

Flag code | | Times Daily | Florence, AL
girl-in-red-white-and-blue.jpgFourth of July revelers who plan to sport stars and stripes as part of their Independence Day clothing, beware: your patriotism may be in violation of the U.S. Flag Code.

Section 8 of the “United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1” or the Flag Code, states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel,” and “It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like,” is among dozens of flag etiquette rules.

No matter; Americans have long been fascinated with taking the red white and blue beyond flagpoles and turning the flag into fabric. The American flag, once a potential hot-button for the Supreme Court, has now become a free-for-all consumer item emblazoned onto clothing and morphed into decorations.

“The Flag Code is a series of guidelines. Even though it’s in the Federal Code, there’s no flag police, you won’t get arrested for owning a flag T-shirt,” said Marc Leepson, independent historian and author of “Flag: An American Biography” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2005).

Urban Infidel did a walking tour of his neighborhood on July 4th, and took lots of photos of flags. Scroll down and click the “Here is my slide show” to see Brooklyn, NY decorated for the holiday.

Urban Infidel: Happy Birthday, America!
us-flag-in-window-sill.JPGYesterday I went out into my neighborhood in Brooklyn to take pictures of American flags. Being the day before our nation’s birthday, I thought there would be a show of patriotism. I was disappointed but not surprised that I walked for many blocks and could only find a handful including my own two. I even went back out with my dogs for a second trip to find more flags.

What I discovered was that the American flags that I did find looked like they had been up for a long time. Seemed to be only the old timers in the area, God Bless them. None of the new residents had any flags, nor did any of the ‘luxury loft’ condos have any either. You’d think that living under the shadow of the World Trade Center would have some kind of lasting effect.

This is a colorful story about a man earning and receiving the official title of Flag Man. It was bestowed by a former Mayor in the 1990s. At 85 Alex Kapitanski doesn’t appear to be slowing down much. > News > North County — Flag Man has been letting it fly for decades
the-flagman.jpgOCEANSIDE – Today, Alex Kapitanski’s flags will flank Main Street during Julian’s Fourth of July celebration, decorate the Oceana Senior Community in Oceanside and pay tribute to Independence Day at Cottonwood Creek Park in Encinitas.

Alex Kapitanski of Oceanside has provided the flags for thousands of ceremonies, and the walls of his home are covered with photos and awards for his work. His title of Flag Man became official in the 1990s.
When some people view the star-spangled banner they remember a soldier’s sacrifice. Others see Old Glory and feel grateful for freedom and opportunity.

For Kapitanski, the hundreds of flags he raises at civic, military and scouting events are a way to share a spirit of patriotism.

After decades of service, the Oceanside resident has earned his official title.

3 thoughts on “Oh Say Can You See? Or Buy? The Daily News July 6, 2007

  1. Loved Urban Infidel’s slide show. That was a great idea, too.

  2. Wasn’t it though. I thought the idea was great and the pictures did a good job of showing the neighborhood.

  3. […] at The Daily Flag we ran the story of Minnesota banning their state retailers from selling non-U.S. manufactured flags inside the state. Wholesalers and […]

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