On Independence Day, We Depend on Foreigners for Flags and Fireworks

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To celebrate Independence Day requires a loose definition of independence. The hot dogs are mostly made in the USA. But, as Americans are reminded each year, the rest of the patriotic pomp comes from overseas.

We buy nearly half our fireworks from other countries. As for Old Glory, we import most of our flags from China. In fact, the number of imported flags that don't come from China -- about $400,000 worth -- is roughly the same as the number of flags we export to other countries.

Independence day, you see, requires a pinch of co-dependence. More dubiously (er, progressively!) patriotic factoids in our homemade infographic below.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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