Wednesday, February 26, 2020

American Flags Made Outside America

So I was looking at a brand new Harbor Freight Tools catalogue that conveniently came in the mail, and I see that they are selling 3 foot by 5 foot American Flags with embroidered stars for $8.99. But a note in small print says that these flags are not available in Minnesota.

Then the next ad offers a 3 x 5 foot American flag with embroidered stars for $19.99. But it doesn't say anything about this flag not being available for sale in Minnesota. It does point out that the second flag is "Made in USA."

Hmm, I thought. Does the state of Minnesota have a law against selling American flags that aren't made in the U.S.? Well, in fact, it does. According to the a website at

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research reports that Minnesota has enacted a law requiring all American flags sold in the state to be manufactured in the United States. 

Minnesota law bars anyone in the business of selling goods at retail from selling or offering to sell an American flag in Minnesota that was manufactured outside the U.S. The law passed in the 2007 session as part of the omnibus state budget act."

The Minnesota law took effect January 1, 2008. The law is silent on enforcement but another Minnesota law appears to make violating the flag law a misdemeanor. Minnesota is the only state that bans the sale of foreign-made American flags, but other states have other flag-oriented laws that apply in special cases.

"Three states have laws that require certain American flags to be manufactured in the U.S. These laws cover flags purchased under state contracts (Tennessee) or for display in public schools (Arizona and Massachusetts) and public colleges and universities (Arizona). These laws apply only to public agencies."

So don't try to buy one of those foreign-made American flags in Minnesota.