Businesses could be fined as much as $625 for selling U.S. or Iowa flags made in other countries under legislation an eastern Iowa lawmaker plans to propose.”I personally don’t want my coffin draped in a Chinese-made flag when I pass away,” said Rep. Ray Zirkelbach, a Monticello Democrat and Iraq war veteran who will introduce the bill later this week.A draft copy of the proposal provided to The Des Moines Register shows that business owners or operators would face simple misdemeanor charges for violations. In addition to fines, people could face as much as 30 days in jail for selling a foreign-made flag. The proposal also applies to any flag commemorating U.S. soldiers characterized as missing in action or prisoners of war.
Iowa’s law would mirror one in Minnesota enacted less than a year ago. Minnesota’s fine is up to $1,000 and three months in jail.
In 2006, Americans imported $5.3 million of foreign-made flags, most of which came from China, according to the Flag Manufacturers Association of America. That was down slightly from $5.5 million in 2005. The manufacturers association has aggressively campaigned to curtail the nation’s import flag trade.