Comptroller: Patriotism is Tax Free

American, Maryland and POW and MIA flags are exempt from Maryland's 6 percent sales tax.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot wants all state residents to know they can celebrate Flag Day on Thursday not just as patriots, but with an added bonus: official flags sold here are exempt from being taxed.

American, Maryland, Prisoner of War and Missing in Action flags are exempt from Maryland's 6 percent sales tax, according to a state press release.

"Patriotism is tax-free and so is the purchase of American, Maryland or POW/MIA flags," said Comptroller Franchot in the release. "Please remember that sales tax should not be charged on purchases of these flags now or at any other time of the year."

President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day in 1916, and in 1949 President Harry Truman made June 14 its national day of recognition, according to the Library of Congress.

Legend has it that George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the United States in 1776. Including hers, 27 official versions of the flag have been created, with the current, 50-star flag being the pattern of choice since July 4, 1960, when the U.S. added Hawaii, according to the Library of Congress.

The flag sales tax exemption can be found under the Tax-General Article of the Maryland Code, Section 11-205.

For more information about Maryland sales tax exemptions, call the Comptroller's Taxpayer Service Section at 410-260-7980, if in central Maryland, or 1-800-638-2937, toll-free from elsewhere, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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