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Cortes Files "All-American Flag Act", Forcing Governments to Purchase American Made Flags

bob cortes, matt susin, all american flag act, ritch workman, flag world orlando, seminole county news, news seminole county, twin rivers insurance, eau gallie high school, jacob engels, bob cortes seminole county, seminole county bob cortes,

State Representative Bob Cortes would like to require the state, counties and municipalities to buy American made United States and Florida flags.

 

By Jacob Engels

 

When we saw Representative Cortes's new bill this morning, we were surprised to find out that the state, cities and counties were not already required to buy United States and state flags made in the USA. If passed, HB 225 will take effect on July 1st, 2015 and apply to purchases of flags made on or after January 1st 2016.

 

A similar house bill, filed by Brevard State Representative Ritch Workman died in committee last year. Workman's bill made it a second-degree misdemeanor for a government employee to knowingly purchase a flag made outside of the United States. That provision has been removed in HB 225.

 

The idea for the legislation originated in an American History class at Eau Gallie High School taught by Matt Susin. He asked his students to come up with change they would like to see in government, and that is when Andres Matos came up with the what would become the All-American Flag Act.

 

Susin now works as a business development coordinator for Twin Rivers Insurance. "This idea has really taken off. Despite failing in committee last year, we have seen the 14 major universities in Florida sign a pledge to purchase only American made United States and state flags," said Susin.

 

He told us that many of his former students, whom he worked with when he oversaw the Model Student Senate, pushed the petition and made it a priority of Student Government Associations at their respective colleges. Susin and his former students pushed the Brevard County Commission to pass an All-American Flag Act last March and saw the Brevard County School system follow suit.

 

"We have been getting pledges signed by veterans and members of local American Legion posts supportive of the act and plan to present them for display in the capitol on March 10th," explained Susin who is still very much involved with promoting the legislation.

 

Before leaving his teaching position, Susin was an award winning teacher who spoke in front of thousands about the idea when he was became a national winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars "Citizenship Education Award".

 

An employee of Flag World, located in Downtown Orlando confirmed that they sell only sell United States and Florida flags that are made in the USA and fit the requirements set forth by the legislation. "This is always how it should of been."

 

Representative Cortes said that he believes the legislation, if passed, will help keep public dollars in the United States and hopefully create more jobs for US workers. "It is very important that we know that any flag flown by any State, County or Municipal government agency in Florida is American made and manufactured," Cortes told us.

 

Susin acknowledges that many counties, municipalities and even the state government purchase foreign made products because they are much cheaper. However, he thinks that with HB 225 becoming law - business owners who sell American made United States & state flags can provide more competitive pricing.

 

"They can apply to become a preferred vendor with a city or municipality, and because the flags will be purchased in bulk, they can provide a better price and governments can stop purchasing foreign made flags." HB 225 will await a companion bill in the Florida Senate and then will have to make it through several committees before making it to the governors desk.

 

Supporters hope that Florida will become a starting point for legislation like the All-American Flag Act, and are working towards presenting bills in the remaining 49 states.

 

 

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

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