Red, white and feeling a bit blue ... as ‘Americana’ made elsewhere

The nation has come a long way since it was formed 235 years ago, according to the U.S. census.

Not only does the nation have about 311.7 million people, compared to the 2.5 million the nation had then, but numerous other things have changed, especially how U.S. residents celebrate the Fourth of July.

Instead of Americans getting their U.S. flags from Betsy Ross, most of them these days are made in China.

According to the census’ latest foreign trade statistics, the nation imported about $3.2 million worth of U.S. flags, with the bulk, $2.8 million, from China.

Although there are a number of Mexican flags seen around the nation, the same is true for south of the border. Last year, that nation bought more American-made U.S. flags than any other nation, $256,407 worth.

When it comes to fireworks, most of the sparklers, bottle rockets and other kinds set off in this nation last year came from China. Americans spent $197 million on them, and $190 million of that went to China.

By comparison, the U.S. exported about $37 million in fireworks; the bulk of that went back over the Pacific Ocean, but to Japan.

Other trade news: The British are coming ... to buy our goods. About $98.3 billion worth of it, making the empire that our nation broke away from in 1776 America’s sixth largest trading partner today.

The census also points out places around the nation that have patriotic-sounding names:

Liberty: 31 places in the nation, including Liberty in Saguache County.

Eagle: 35 places in the nation, including one in Eagle County in Colorado.

Freedom: Nine places around the nation, not including street names, such as Freedom Way in Montrose.

American: Five places in the nation, but none in Colorado.

Patriot: Only one. Patriot, Ind.

Chances are most of the food Americans will consume at their Independence Day barbecues today came from elsewhere in the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most hot dogs come from Iowa, hamburgers from Texas, baked beans from North Dakota, potato chips from Idaho and watermelon from Florida.


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