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The Real Cost of Celebrating July 4th

By Lewis Braham and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-06-28T15:04:23Z

Photograph by Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

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Flags

About 60 million Americans display the flag on the Fourth. U.S. flag manufacturers sold $302.7 million in flags in 2007, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Some $3.8 million in U.S. flags were imported from China in 2012, a decline from 2001's $29.7 million. The primary reason for the fall in sales: Many would-be patriots were upset to discover after September 11, 2001, that they'd purchased a Chinese import, so the numbers reflect their outrage, says Reggie VandenBosch, chairman of  the Flag Manufacturers Association of America. At Amazon.com you can buy a 3-by-5-foot polyester flag for as little as $4 or wrap yourself in a 30-by-60-foot one for $2,026.

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