A Declaration of Independence


  1. Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing;
  2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant;
  3. Not relying on others for support, care, or funds; self-supporting.

How is America doing these days on maintaining our independence?

Well, as to the first point, we are not yet governed by a foreign power, and despite all the warts in our political system relating to the effect of money, I would say we are still self-governing.

As to the second point, the situation is somewhat more dire.  The U.S. government has a debt of $15,778,438,599,568.  China is the largest foreign owner of this debt, holding over $1.4 trillion of our nation’s debt.  And they keep buying T-Bills.  Now if the administration started getting kind of stroppy on Chinese currency manipulation, would anyone be surprised if the Chinese government told the administration that it was going to sit on the sidelines during the next round of T-Bill offerings?  We are in a situation now where this country is not free from the influence of the Chinese government.

As to the last point, it is clear that we rely on others for many of the products we use each day.  95% of our apparel is made overseas as is 97% of our shoes.  Virtually 100% of our myriad of electronic devices are made in China, Korea or Japan.  We are not self-supporting in a real sense.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can decide that it won’t be that way any more.

For the past year I have been urging you to consider making products produced by members of our extended American family your default choice when shopping.  While I think it makes sense to do that everyday, it seems especially appropriate on the Fourth of July.  My god man, we are talking mom and apple pie here!  So I call on you to declare your independence at your Fourth of July party this year.  Refuse to buy shirts at Target that say “America” on them, but that are made overseas!  Instead buy a cool Gadsden & Culpepper Made in the USA black T-shirt.

At your 4th of July get together, you will always need a few items: flag, glasses, plates, napkins and a barbecue.  You can buy all of those things from firms that hire members of our extended American family.

U.S. Flags

Annin has been making U.S. flags since 1847; their plant in Coshocton, Ohio produces over 50,000 American flags a day!  All the raw materials that go into an Annin American flag are made in this country.  An Annin flag draped the coffin of President Abraham Lincoln on its journey from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.  Six U.S. Marines raised an Annin flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima in 1945, an act captured in the iconic photo by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press.  Only three of the six soldiers in the photo left Iwo Jima alive.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, by Joe Rosenthal / The Associated Press.

You can pick up Annin flags at Tru-Value, Staples and even Walmart.

Glasses and Mugs

Regardless of your choice of 4th of July beverage, you need good American made glasses and cups to drink it in.  For your frosty beverages, I recommend Tervis Tumblers.  They have a wide range of patriotic designs to choose from.  Once you move onto coffee, ThermoServ mugs are the ticket


The premier 4th of July plate in my estimation is Fiesta dinnerware.  The color of choice for the 4th has to be Scarlet.


There are not a lot of American made napkins on offer, but if you want them you can order them from Sweet Pea Linens


I have already done a post on American made gas grills, but this 4th I am going retro and getting my old Weber charcoal grill back in service.  I can’t wait to taste the smoky goodness of chicken skewers that have been smoking in my trusty Weber one-touch.

At my 4th of July get-together this year, my family and I will celebrate the men and women who helped create our nation, the men and women who have served in our armed forces defending our nation and the men and women who have labored to produce things that have made our nation the finest place to live in the world.  Have a Happy Fourth and I urge you to share my blog with family and friends that might find it interesting.

God bless!


About John Briggs

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at www.simply-american.com.
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