The Flag Stands for Freedom, So Let's Make Sure We Don't Have Too Much of It

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Minnesota Rep. Tom Rukavina understands that freedom isn't free:

A move is on in state legislatures to ensure that the flags folks will be flying and buying this Independence Day were made on this fruited plain.

Minnesota has passed the strongest measure, a new law that goes into effect at year's end requiring every Old Glory sold in state stores to be domestically produced. Violations are a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

"The biggest honor that you can give the flag is that it be made by American workers in the United States of America," said [Democratic Rep. Tom Rukavina]. "Nothing is more embarrassing to me than a plastic flag made in China. This replica of freedom we so respect should be made in this country."

I really can't think of any better way to celebrate freedom than jailing Americans who buy flags. In the freest world imaginable, Chuck Schumer's import czar would hunt down and kill anyone who generates tax revenue by trading with a foreign national.

Via Kip Esquire.

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  1. Fly an imported flag, lose your home. It’s only fair.

  2. And, if you burn a flag in MN, you must also be sure that it’s an American made flag!

  3. So…just for the sake of argument…if you burn an Iranian-made American flag, would it be considered a crime or an act of patriotism?

  4. Not being an American, I’m a little hazy about your Pledge of Allegiance, but doesn’t it mention something about “the REPUBLIC for which it stands”?

    Just askin’.

  5. What about an American made Iranian flag?

  6. An American flag made in America has a nice ring to it. Unfortunately that isn’t reality. So let’s pass laws to alter reality.

    While we’re looking to outlaw reality, maybe Rukavina can do something about the Volkswagen size mosquitos in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

  7. What is the penalty for displaying patriotic copper statues made in France?

  8. Isn’t this a violation of the Interstate Commerce clause?

  9. Aresen:

    well, the republic stands for freedom, so since if A=B and B=C, then A=C then it stands to reason that if the flag=the republic, and the republic=freedom, then the flag=freedom unless the flag is made in another country or if 9/11 changed everything.

    is that clear?

  10. Sheesh, how awful.

    Frankly, I’ve always liked the idea of Chinese workers making flags for Americans. Kinda reinforces which ideology won the Cold War.

  11. Well, that and the Chinese gold farmers.

  12. I vote for Chris S. as thread-winner.

  13. I second the nomination of Chris S.

  14. I vote for Chris S. as thread-winner.

    Ditto.

  15. So what is the status of an American flag made in America … sewn by illegal aliens in a sweatshop owned by a legal immigrant … but he is Chinese … but the textile was imported from Thailand … but the sewing machines are also imported from Malaysia … but the company’s headquarters are in Minneapolis … but … Uh what were we talking about?

    Oh right, burning legislators. I’m for it.

  16. I live in Minnesota, and I can’t wait to fly a Chinese-made flag. Better yet, maybe I’ll buy a bunch in Wisconsin and sell them to Minnesota residents on ebay. Oh, how dastardly of me…

  17. Like I said about the noise ordinance.Pass a law about everything and turn SWAT loose.

  18. It’s like someone held a top-ten-ironically-stupidest-legislative-action contest, and this is one of the entries.

    (the great state of Larry casts its vote for Chris S too)

  19. I had a similar realization while lighting fireworks on July 4.

    We celebrate our freedom with fireworks, but only those permitted by the government.

  20. I vote for Chris S. as thread-winner.

    I second that, very witty and to the point. Unfortunately some of the “average” folk may miss the reference. (bronze statues made by the french? Is the statue surrendering??!)

  21. If she were surrendering, she’d have both hands up.

  22. I appoint myself king and thread-winner.
    Bring me your gold.

    I have spoken.

  23. I also vote for Chris S., I almost fell out of my chair laughing at that.

  24. If you put a label on the flag saying “made in China”, as a protest against permissive trade policies, THEN you might be covered under the 1st Ammendment.

  25. I too cast my vote in support of Chris S.

  26. Apparently there’s quite an industry in Israel, making Israeli and American flags to sell in the territories, for burning in protest.

    Only in America. And America East.

  27. the innominate one

    Thanks for your help. Not only does it clarify this issue, but I now understand the Federal Budget as well.

    [I also vote for Chris O as thread-winner.]

  28. You can’t go into the Statue of Liberty after going through a metal detector, a biometeric face scan and a security guy of sorts looking you up and down. (Unless they have changed it)

    Although there is no penality for putting it on display, The fun of it has already be removed.

  29. All of these are profoundly idiotic laws, but unless I am misreading the article most are not aimed at private citizens who own flags, but rather institutions using State funds. According to this piece, Minnesota’s law isn’t going to survive a challenge because it also includes private businesses.

    But in any case, “I really can’t think of any better way to celebrate freedom than jailing Americans who buy flags” isn’t really accurate. It’s aimed at sellers, not buyers. So I don’t think anyone who flies a flag made in China is going to prison.

  30. Wow, the irony is so thick you couldn’t cut through it with a chainsaw. But that’s pretty much Minnesota in a nutshell… I lived there for over 10 years and left as soon as I turned 18. The level of “we know what’s best for you, you betcha we do” is suffocating.

  31. Josephdietrich,

    American stores that sell flags made in China also need to buy them.

  32. I had a similar realization while lighting fireworks on July 4.

    We celebrate our freedom with fireworks, but only those permitted by the government.

    It occurred to me watching several people within a block or two of me set off a vast array of illegal fireworks, including 30-40 large, almost professional grade, mortars that I was witnessing a rather heartening and beautiful display of civil disobedience. Seriously, these days, when else do you see such a blatant disregard for the law (and I mean a criminal law, as opposed to say, speeding) by such a large and wide ranging group of people?

    As I was driving home along a bluff overlooking a large section of the city it was amazing to see the vast sweep of this overt disrespect for authority. Here in Oregon we have some of the strictest fireworks laws in the country – pretty much everything is illegal, definitely anything that leaves the ground or explodes – yet despite the annual pledge by police to “crack down” on illegal fireworks (which is apparently working even less well, if that is possible, than their continual crack down on illegal drugs) the city was erupting in essentially one big colorful “fuck you” to the authorities who seek to protect us from ourselves by legislating the fun out of fireworks. At one point someone had a police scanner and several of us overheard the dispatcher tell an officer “report of illegal fireworks at 30th and Belmont.” Everyone within earshot erupted in laughter as it was patently obvious that you could pick any intersection in the city at random and be just as accurate in your “report” of illegal fireworks as that one certainly was.

    So each year the state tries to further limit the freedom to celebrate freedom and everyone continues to ignore them. Somehow that seems appropriate for the 4th of July.

  33. There’s something odd about saying no to a flag made in China as being pro-democratic in a country that is buying enough Chinese products to fund the military expansion of an anti-democratic nation.

  34. Forget about flag purchases. What about a law going after the people who put a US flag up and fly it until it gets ragged, dirty, and torn, never taking it down?

    Disrepecting the Flag, indeed. And have you noticed it’s always the loudest tub-thumping jingoists screaming about a Burning Flag Amendment that do this?

  35. Oh the irony

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