idf israeli flag lebanon.
(photo credit: AP)
An Israeli flag manufacturer plans to send a letter to all Knesset members on Wednesday lobbying for a new "Israeli Flag Law" that would obligate state institutions and local authorities to buy and fly flags manufactured here.
Avi Marom, who is chairmen of Marom SGP, one of the largest flag manufacturers in the Middle East, said the issue pertains to both Zionism and human rights. According to market research, Marom estimates approximately 80 percent of Israeli flags are produced in the Far East.
"It is bizarre that the flag we are fighting and dying for is being manufactured by a child over in Asia," he said.
From the business perspective, the Asian market is undercutting Marom's industry in general although it is not eating a significant portion of his own company's market share because it handles many smaller, more customized orders.
Among those orders, he recalled a few that pose similar industry conundrums.
"Approximately 30 years ago we were asked by our German colleagues to produce PLO flags," Marom said. "The organization was illegal at the time and so we declined the order. The flags were eventually produced in Greece and Cyprus."
Marom gained attention last year after he discovered the IDF's public bids to buy Israeli flags from the Far East.
In the past, the Defense Ministry estimated that the foreign company which won a tender to produce Israeli flags had offered a price that was 50% cheaper than offers from local firms.
"It is ridiculous that the national flag is produced abroad. But the initiative to buy domestically should be done through patriotic feelings rather than the rule of law," said Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh.
Brosh pointed to Bank Hapoalim as a positive example.
"Bank Hapoalim recently made a large purchase of Israeli flags from Israel. We need more like them," he said.