A Huntsville flag maker said the state chose a foreign company to produce the Alabama bicentennial flag and didn't give her Alabama based company the chance to bid the project. WAAY 31 put in several calls to the bicentennial commission today and no one could tell us where the commemorative flags were made.
"The dye is already rubbing off of the flag where it was folded," Belinda Kennedy, owner of Alabama Flag and Banner, said.
Kennedy has been in the flag making business for more than 30 years, and her professional inspection of this year's bicentennial flag was nothing short of brutal.
"It's a bad print, it's cheap material, cheap construction," Kennedy said.
Kennedy said her business does work for the state often, and she was surprised when she saw the bicentennial flag for the first time. She ordered one online, and as soon as she got it she called the bicentennial commission thinking she was about to break the news that the flags for a statewide celebration weren't made in the state.
"When I told her I felt like this was most likely a foreign made flag she affirmed that it truly was a foreign made flag. That they were aware of that and that they simply bought the flag from China because it was a cheaper flag," Kennedy said.
Kennedy told WAAY 31 she wasn't even given the chance to bid the project.
"Sending money outside of our state when you have people inside of our state, my employees and business owners like me who make flags like this, we should have the same advantages by giving us at least the opportunity to bid," Kennedy said.
Even if she was given the chance to bid Kennedy said she doesn't think the state saving a few extra bucks on a foreign made flag is worth it, especially since those people aren't invested in the state the flag is supposed to celebrate.
"I pay property taxes. I pay road taxes. I pay all of those taxes and these people in China don't," Kennedy said.
Kennedy added that if there's a re-order on the flags she hopes the state will take her concerns into consideration.