Magazine article Insight on the News

`Old Glory' in Short Supply on Capitol Hill. (Washington in Brief)

Magazine article Insight on the News

`Old Glory' in Short Supply on Capitol Hill. (Washington in Brief)

Article excerpt

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Congress established the Flags for Victims program to provide an American flag for the families of those who die in the course of service to the country. There's a problem, though: There are no flags available and, according to various news reports, it will be at least six months before any become available.

Part of the problem is that, unlike Kmart or Wal-Mart, Congress can't just run off to a foreign vendor to buy flags. Under law, Congress has to buy flags made in the United States, ruling out suppliers such as Israel and China. A manufacturing-industry executive said the demand has been four times greater than what all U.S. manufacturers could produce going at full steam. Additionally, the flags ordered by Congress are tailored to specifics that require greater time and attention.

No one seems to know exactly how many flags are needed by Congress to meet current demand. …

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