The Real Cost of July 4, from NYC to Nashville

By Lewis Braham - 2012-06-26T20:34:29Z

Photograph by Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

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About 60 million Americans display the flag on the Fourth. U.S. flag manufacturers sold $301.5 million in flags in 2009, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Some $3 million in U.S. flags were imported from China, a decline from 2001's $51.7 million number. Many would-be patriots were upset to discover after Sept. 11, 2001, that they'd purchased a Chinese import, so the numbers reflect their outrage. At you can buy a 3-by-5-foot polyester flag for as little as $4.79 or wrap yourself in a 30-by-60-foot one for $3,099.