October 5th, 2007
02:28 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama no longer wears flag pin

Sen. Barack Obama campaigned in Iowa Wednesday without the familiar lapel pin many members of Congress have worn since September 11, 2001.

(CNN) – An astute reporter for CNN affiliate KCRG-TV noticed there was something missing from Sen. Barack Obama’s wardrobe. He wasn’t wearing the common American flag lapel pin, a fashion fixture in post-9/11 politics used to display patriotism following the attacks.

"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest,” the Democratic presidential candidate told the reporter Tuesday in Iowa City, Iowa. “Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great. Hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."

Obama touched upon the exchange again Wednesday at a speech in Independence, Iowa.

"I haven't worn that pin in probably a very long time. I wore it right after 9/11. But after a while, you start noticing people wearing the lapel pin but not acting very patriotic,” he said. “My attitude is that I'm less concerned with what you're wearing on you lapel than what's in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those ones who serve."

Obama has been campaigning throughout Eastern Iowa since Monday.

–CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
soundoff (412 Responses)
  1. Martin, Rochester, MN

    Nice response by Obama. A pin should never be used to judge the patriotism of anyone.

    October 4, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Christian, Tampa FL

    I've always appreciated The Pin, but considering its current wearer-in-chief, I don't blame Obama for his stance on it in the least.

    October 4, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Common Sense, USA

    Genocide in Darfur, War in Iraq, Racism in the US, Global Warming....

    Yet the media has decided to cover a story about a pin. Good for you CNN.

    October 4, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. Laura - Tulsa, OK

    I don't get it. Why would Obama say that he won't wear the pin because of the way other people act? He said, "people wear the lapel pin, but don't act very patriotic"- so why doesn't he set an example? It doesn't make sense. Did he also take down his flag?

    October 4, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Trollmaster, CA

    Another smart play by Obama.

    With all the phony Wal Mart Patriotism out there, wearing the US flag on your suit has become meaningless.

    Most of those types of people remind me of all those idiot rappers out there where 95% of their songs are about bragging how great they are, instead of letting their music speak for itself. You never heard one song about the Beatles bragging how they’re from Liverpool or how talented they are did you?

    Saying you’re patriotic and actually being patriotic are 2 different things entirely.

    October 4, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Reggie , Anaheim, Ca.

    Yeah, Obama keep telling the truth the
    gop can't handle that feature of life!
    The gop has lowered the bar so low,by
    stealing the White House with an idiot.
    Obama his mama your mama can do a better job than the bush crime family
    even on a bad day!

    Obama is the Man!

    October 4, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. deucebollards

    I'm not ashamed to wear the flag pin. Don't muslims eschew jewelry? Maybe that's why.

    October 4, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. E

    Obama is right! Time to stop the character acts media! Did you ask any of the other candidates this? NO! If this story does not wake people up to see the media is trying to bring down Obama then nothing will. They can spit in his face and still some he try to twist it as if he did something wrong. They down Obama when they want ratings or viewers than lift up Hillary because the media wants her elected to protect their financial interest. ALL MEDIA, REPORTERS, AND PUNDITS ARE LYING, SNEEKY, GREEDY IDIOTS!

    October 4, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  9. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Is it me or is Barack practicing the mis-use of adverbs to appeal to an intellectually challenged audience? (The "done good" folks.) Don't we want an educated candidate?

    October 4, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Pete, Washington

    Right on Barack !...It's like some of our friends who parade around in expensive clothes and drive fancy cars, and expect us to use those external symbols as a measure of their character. Obama is proud to to tell the voters his beliefs, and his vision of America...and he shows his patriotism when he fights for the rights of the Iraq War vets who are struggling with their promised benifits or health care for their injuries. I wish more Americas would follow Barack's lead in showing 'true' patriotism by working to fight Bush's assult on our constitution, the power of the lobbyists, and to bring our country back together.

    Unity and Leadership...Obama '08

    October 4, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    Dick Cheney wears the pin and Bush. Rumsfeld too. It's a crock, a phony symbol. They are the antithesis of an American patriot.

    Was I dreaming or did I see all three or four talking head commentators on a NFL pre-game show (maybe on Fox or CBS) wearing these pins? And I swear I saw one Senator or some elected retard wearing one that looked like the stars in the blue field were diamonds. Did anyone else see that? Flag as bling, OMG.

    October 4, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Phil M, Minneapolis, MN

    Why is this news? You could have had a story about Richardson, Biden, Paul, Huckabee, or any other 2nd tier candidate, but instead you want to cover every little thing that the 1st tier candidates do. This year has by far the worst election coverage ever.

    October 4, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Bobby G. Melbourne, Florida

    This candidate refuses to wear an American Flag, which, of course, is his right. But why would a possible future President refuse to wear the flag..? It speaks volumes about him, and as divided as we all may be as a country, the American Flag still serves as our symbol. Shame on this man..! The more that I listen to him, the more that I realize that he is not, unfortunately, a viable presidential candidate.

    October 4, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. Kate Portland OR

    Are you surprised? Obama is gauche and impulsive, seldom seeing the ripples down the line that his actions have created. Intellectually lazy.

    October 4, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    If you don't agree with Obama on the issues, fine, I can deal with that. But to not vote for him just because of a small pin is a petty, small minded way to think.

    Check out this link and find out his reasons for a lack of a lapel pin.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/obamas-lapels/index.html?hp

    October 4, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. rob d., reading, pa

    If Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wore an a
    American flag pin, would that make him a good American?

    October 4, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    That is what we call "hypocrite" – he can spin on anything.

    October 4, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  18. SM

    Obama is Osama in disguise. Beware of him.

    October 4, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. Matt, Dayton OH

    There are a LOT of ways you can support your country other than wearing a shiny badge on your coat, and Obama shows this every day.

    October 4, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    It CANNOT possibly be, that slow of a new cycle. I mean really, does he wear matching cufflinks or a Rolex with Red White Blue in it? The Media is looking for some DUMB thing they can turn into a HUGH scandal for Obama. They will then hound on that DUMB thing hoping the public would follow their conclusion.
    Also, I see why no one has bothered to comment. People are sick and tired of reading and watching bias cheerleading for Hillary and against Obama. What happened to Howard Dean has showed the media nothing.
    Sept 2004 Dean polls 38% Kerry 17%. Kerry wins Iowa 38% Dean loses Iowa 18% and lost the primary. Obama is ahead in Iowa and doing well in NH and South Carolina. He has raised millions more then Hillary and ANY other candidate in the 2008 Race. We want the Media to inform us on what is truly happening in the Race. So we can make our own judgments.
    I respect Candy but change starts somewhere so please start to push your network to STOP the bias reporting. It’s starting to sound down right sickening.

    October 4, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Gee maybe we should gang up on Sen. Larry Craig for his "lack of patriotism" too

    /*sarcasm

    http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20071004/i/r1171552513.jpg?x=247&y=345&sig=nSiWS1zCD5vcX91Lkh4jMA–

    <img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20071004/i/r1171552513.jpg?x=247&y=345&sig=nSiWS1zCD5vcX91Lkh4jMA–

    October 4, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    is this fox

    October 4, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. Sue, Midland, MI

    I agree with Barack. The flag is a piece of cloth-our true allegiance is to our Creator, and He must be pretty displeased with what passes for Christianity right now in this country.

    October 4, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    uh oh

    October 4, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. Marcus R Benson

    That does it for me, I won't vote for him. I doesn't understand patriotism.

    October 4, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
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