With July 4th around the corner — and Memorial day just a month ago — we’re right in the middle of flag-flying season. And if flag imports are any measure of patriotic fervor, this year seems to be a slightly weak one. In April 2012, the U.S. imported 1 million flags at a total cost of $310,000. That’s down from nearly 2 million flags, at $520,000, for the same month last year.
The yearly flag shipment cycle rises and falls with the early summer “patriotic” holidays, and March, April, and May are peak months for imports. Yet one trend remains stable month after month: nearly all of the Stars and Stripes the U.S. imports are manufactured in China. Since 2009, China has exported $9.9 million of American flags to the U.S., which is about 90% of a total of $11 million.
In April 2012, U.S. flag imports totaled $310,000, or 1.1 million units — all of which were from China. By comparison, American flag exports of the next two biggest suppliers, India and Taiwan, totaled just 51,000 units from January-April of this year. View Panjiva’s Trendspotting report for more on American flag imports.
Believe it or not, the U.S. also exports quite a few American flags. In March of this year, the U.S. exported over $140,000 of flags, which was the second highest total after September 2009. The top buyer of U.S. flags? Mexico, by an overwhelming measure. The country south of the border has imported $720,000 of American flags since 2009. View Panjiva’s Trendspotting report for more on American flag exports.