The Best Way to Know You’re Buying a Premium Quality American Flag

LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® FMAA Certified

Made in America is Not Equal to FMAA Certified

At LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®, we have always stressed the importance of buying only 100% American-Made American flags. Since we opened our doors this has been our stance, mainly for the obvious patriotic reasons.

However, that reasoning has expanded to include many quality concerns that are increasingly magnified with each passing year.

We receive letters, emails, comments, and phone calls every day from concerned Americans regarding the quality of American flags and flagpoles they have purchased from other companies.

To make matters worse, we have found that many of these products are reportedly American-made, but suffer from the same quality defects that were previously only witnessed in products made overseas.

This is why it is no longer enough to be American-made, and why we believe that every American flag must be made in the U.S.A., and FMAA certified.

Who is FMAA?
Construction Quality Assurance

FMAA Logo Example

FMAA, a.k.a. Flag Manufacturers Association of America

The FMAA is an organization that certifies aspects of the production of American flags by it's member manufacturers. Annual certification and continuous monitoring requires adherence to strict procurement, manufacture, and product labeling standards.

This monitoring and certification process is essential to eliminating the kinds of practices that might have led to the problems you will see pictured below.

The FMAA is the only organization of its type, and their seal represents the gold standard in quality assurance of American flags.

Issues Experienced by Non-FMAA Flag Buyers

This brings us to the crux of this article, which is to highlight the failings in American flag products believed to have been produced in the United States but which have not been FMAA certified.

The full range of issues goes beyond what we will share here, but a few prominent items come to the forefront.

Fabric Quality

In this image, the American flag pictured is made of a fabric that anyone can see directly through. This is not a flag that has been manufactured with longevity during any normal use in mind. In fact, the complaint is that the flag is already torn as the customer is opening the package.

torn flag

The FMAA certifies that fabrics used in the manufacture of American flags bearing their seal are constructed of fabrics produced entirely in the United States, from yarn to fabric and sewn to finished.

Product Construction

In this image is a flag that was delivered to the customer with only one grommet instead of two. While the FMAA does not inspect for proper grommet placement, any manufacturer meeting the FMAA's strict inspection requirements would also have a system in place to prevent this rudimentary mistake from occurring.

One Grommet flag

For example, the FMAA requires flag manufacturers and their suppliers to provide country of origin certificates for the raw materials they supply, and to maintain files of these certificates.

Authenticity

There are many problems with the stick flag pictured here, most of which have to do with flaws with recreating the American flag design. The most striking, however, is the highly questionable "Made in the U.S.A." stamp on the hoist end, which appears to have been sewn together backwards — enough to draw skepticism. Surely an American manufacturer should seek to depict the American flag more accurately.

crummy stick flag

Without FMAA certification, the only way to know for certain whether this flag was actually produced in the United States would be for the purchaser to send it away for laboratory testing.

From Customers' Notes: Cases of Mistaken Identity

As a result of mistaken identity, these are comments from consumers who purchased products not sold by LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.

NOTE: These comments DO NOT refer to LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® products.

"I purchased the US Flag Set from [hardware store] at the end of May 2019. I just saw that every color of my flag is ripping on the seam between each color. I’m extremely disappointed in the quality of this flag."

"I bought a flag kit from [hardware store] here in Leavenworth Kansas and the flag was already damaged coming out of the package. I wondered if you would send me a replacement. I am an Iraq Combat Veteran so the appearance of my flag is very important to me."

"I recently purchased a 3’ x 5' American flag at [hardware store]. I was excited to bring it home to fly until I unfolded it and saw that the red stripes had bled onto the white. The flag doesn’t look nearly as sharp as it should and, as a result, I have yet to hang it."

"I installed my [hardware store] kit this past summer and had an issue towards the end of fall with the flag ripping pretty bad so I bought a replacement (November 2019). When I was out by my barn yesterday, I noticed that my new flag was already ripped where the top red and white stripe meet. I am wondering if there is a warranty or something for these flags? Is there a better more durable flag out there?"

NOTE: These comments DO NOT refer to LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® products.

Locate FMAA Certified Retailers

How do you know if you're buying from a reputable, FMAA-certified American flag retailer or dealer? Access the membership list, which is available on the FMAA website, by clicking anywhere on this paragraph.

One of the hurdles that we have realized consumers are having to overcome is name recognition. For example, many people have purchased flags in hardware stores, big box stores, pharmacies, or on massive global retails websites, mistakenly thinking that they are buying one of our flags or flagpoles or kits. Our products can be purchased only on our website or in our single showroom location in Tulsa, OK.

As you can see from the images below, the company that has produced these products has a name similar to ours on the package, which has led to some confusion, as none of these are products that we have ever sold.

Not a LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® product Not a LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® product Not a LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® product Not a LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® product


These items are not produced or sold by us, and are not certified by the FMAA as 100% American-made. They are just a few examples of how low-quality products of questionable origin might be mistaken for ours.

It is our recommendation that any time anyone purchases an American flag, they should refer to the list of FMAA members to be sure that they are purchasing from the correct companies and that their American flag meets the highest possible standards.

In our case, that means seeing the FMAA seal on all of our American flags. Plus, always look for our full registered trademark, LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® for assurance of quality every time.

LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® FMAA certification seal image

Photo Call!

Send us your pictures of American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

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Please send all of your suggestions or questions to service@LibertyFlags.com. We want to hear from you!

Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.


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