Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 225 into law today, formally codifying into state statute that all state, county and municipal governments that purchase American flags for public use must do so from manufacturers based in the United States.
The bill provides, according to staff analysis, that:
“The United States and state flags must be displayed in certain venues under current law. The United States flag must be displayed at the state capitol and at every county courthouse, public auditorium, polling station on election days, and on the grounds and in the classrooms of public K-20 educational institutions. The state flag must be displayed on the grounds of every public K-20 educational institution in the state.”
The measure was carried by freshman Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes, who ousted former state Rep. Karen Castor Dentel last November, and Democratic state Rep. Daphne Campbell. The Senate bill was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Thad Altman.
The bill received just one “No” vote in either chamber, from state Sen. Jeff Brandes, on grounds that the state should not encumber local governments’ purchasing decisions.
The bill goes into effect July 1.