For many years in Maryland, all but one flag that flies at the State House was made in Jessup, Maryland, home to Maryland Correctional Services (MCS), the prison labor division of the Maryland Division of Correction. Now, all flags will be made in Jessup under legislation signed by Governor Martin O’Malley.
The flag legislation came about after H. Wayne Norman, Jr., a delegate to the Maryland House, bought a United States flag from Home Depot that was made in China. “When you see that symbol, it’s a little ironic when it says, ‘Made in China,” said delegate B. Daniel Riley, a supporter of the bill.
While the flag legislation was designed to remedy a perceived slight on an important American symbol, it does nothing for the workers who will be making the flags. Prisoners working for MCS make $1.25 to $5.10 a day, well below the federal minimum wage in a prison system renown for its brutality and corruption. How appropriate.
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