State Department gift shop sells flag pins made in China

State Department gift shop sells flag pins made in China

In the basement of the State Department, there’s a gift shop that holds a bounty of treasures. Employees in search of souvenirs of their time in Foggy Bottom can buy anything from hooded sweatshirts to coffee mugs to teddy bears, with the State Department seal embossed in a very official fashion on the front.

"Somebody at the State Department Loves You," reads one shelf of T-shirts. Another shelf features hand towels with the State Department logo, just in case you want your boudoir to have that diplomatic feeling. There are even computer tote bags and backpacks that will identify one as a State Department employee, which must make for an easier time going through airport security checkpoints, we’re guessing.

What really caught our eye in a recent visit to the shop were the bins full of lapel pins featuring American flags. The right lapel pin can put the finishing touch on any diplomat’s ensemble. But as you can see, the tiny packages holding the pins clearly indicate they were "MADE IN CHINA."

Now, we’re not saying that State should recall the pins, like the Defense Department did when it found out that 600,000 berets were made in China. But for all you FSOs out there, here’s a reminder: As you proudly display your American flag pin on your breast, you’re also wearing a symbol of the new global economy.