October 6th, 2007
08:19 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama flag pin flap

Is an American flag pin necessary for a politician to show his or her patriotism? Susan Roesgen has the story.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's decision not to wear a lapel pin bearing an American flag has been the source of scrutiny since Tuesday when an Iowa reporter noticed that the Democratic presidential candidate was missing the symbol of patriotism that has become common among politicians since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  CNN's Susan Roesgen reports on Obama's decision about how to communicate his patriotism.

Related: Obama no longer wears flag pin

Related: Two of Obama's rivals weigh in on flag pin

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Obama said, "I decided I won't wear that (american flag) pin on my chest.”

    That is a very drastic and damaging statement for a guy who wants to be the next american president. I can support Hillary's position of "wearing it from time to time."

    This shows Obama's INEXPERIENCE AND NAVIETY as a politician and presidential candidate. He is simply not a seasoned politician, and may fumble if nominated, and may bring embarassment to the country if elected.

    Obama, now you know why you are down in polls, and falling.

    October 5, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Mike Omaha,NE


    October 5, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Reggie, Anaheim,Ca.

    I don't hear anyone talking about our American "Old Glory" Flag being made in China!I have one flying on my porch

    Again, another weak straw-man, winkie-dink, mickey mouse argument by the folks who have not a leg to stand on!

    Do they have any shame or conscience? NAH

    October 5, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  4. Joshua Maye, Washington, DC

    No its not necessary for any American to wear a lapel bin of the American flag to show how patriotic you are. This is just another way to get away from the issues that America faces as a nation.

    October 5, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. ..::Eddie::.. Atlanta, GA

    Next question...

    October 5, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  6. bobbie yakima WA

    Who gives a flying flip who wears what on his/her lapel?? What the H*** has it to do with what is tearing America apart????

    October 6, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. Laura, Tulsa, OK

    The American flag is a symbol of liberty, of each person's right to live free. It's the most important visual of the United States. For someone to prefer a bare jacket lapel instead of one decorated with this symbol of our country, shows their lack of character. It also shows me that Barack Obama prefers to be looked upon as a blank canvas, one onto which people can project their beliefs and ideas. But, like Obama's declining to vote on the Betray Us ad, it shows a weakness, a reluctance to stand for something.

    October 6, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  8. M. Seewald, Milwaukee, Wi

    For the love of....yeah I'm sure Barack won't be able to make any important decisions now because he took off a pin from his lapel.

    Not a seasoned politician? Inexperienced? What exactly is Hillary's experience? Edward's? Obama has held political office longer than either. He has been involved with politics longer than either.

    Don't be confused with naivety and inexperience for honesty, new ideas and leadership.

    October 6, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. Carol Georgia

    The American flag pin is about the person that wears it, not the person that sees it. It's a reminder for the wearer to keep that patriotism close to their own heart, like carrying photos of their children in their wallet. Obama's choice to not wear it has nothing to do with his presidential aspirations; it is what he feels in his heart of hearts for our beloved country.

    October 6, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  10. NJ-San Diego, CA

    'Much Ado about Nothing!'... I guess most people who gave negative comments here did not even care to read the whole statement of Obama. It's laziness to the nth degree!!!

    I can't believe there's so many here in this blog who would parse and chop the Obama's statement into pieces and not read it in its entirety before they comment.

    He is not talking about "the flag" here... he is talking about "the pin". And I agree with him that patriotism is inside one's heart!

    Why don't you all negative commenters examine yourselves. Have you in your life did some form of sacrifice for your country and countrymen?

    October 6, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Christian, Tampa FL

    Who cares about a stupid pin? I don't wear an American flag of any kind. I don't have an American flag in my dorm room. I don't have one anywhere that's visible.

    I'm still a patriot, though. I still love my country dearly.

    Not wearing some little pin doesn't make you a bad American or a bad presidential candidate anymore than not wearing a cross makes you a bad Christian.

    October 6, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  12. Jerry, Denver CO

    There's a difference between patriotism and nationalism. I agree with Barack's decision, and what he says about actions speaking louder than symbols and words. After 9/11 the pins made sense, now, with the whole world unhappy with us, it seems in bad taste to be too patriotic. We all know what our flag looks like, and what it stands for. People who need to wear pins to remind them of this are the questionable ones. Obama '08!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2007 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  13. Brett, Pembroke, MA

    Well I see no reason why Obama cannot simply wear a small American flag on his suit, there is such a trivial issue for CNN to focus on. What about Darfur, what about Iraq, what about the ACTUAL ISSUES facing America and the world? This belongs in the gossip section, not as a legitimiate political story.

    October 6, 2007 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  14. William Carterville, IL

    Good for you Obama! The youth of America are behind you~

    You know its interesting that they don't pole people with cellphones (aka college students)which I think are strong Obama supporters!

    October 6, 2007 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  15. Mrs. America

    This campaign is getting weird. Flag pins and 40 days of faith, "trophy wife," pro-choice republican front-runner, Florida, Mitt trying to buy his way into the White House, cackling laughs, what else. Maybe it should be a Kucinich/Paul contest. At least they talk real thoughts about real things. But then, they look too weird to be "presidential". Upcoming months should be a good show.

    October 6, 2007 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  16. laurinda,ny

    I think that the flag pin that Obama won't wear will bother alot of people from the southern states. Being that so many are Democrats, instead of Obama they will switch and vote for Hillary.

    October 6, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  17. John, VA

    Send some of your reporters to Iraq and do some real reporting. This flag pin story is stupid.

    October 6, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  18. Brooklyn

    Rather see actions from a person than someone who feels he/she needs to dress the part. We have enough of those.

    October 6, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  19. Michaele, Chandler, AZ

    Since when is a flag pin required for candidates running for president. The Senator took an oath of office pledging to uphold the constitution and does not need to put a "made in China" pin on his lapel. Ask the other candidates if the pins they wear were made in the USA. This is more than stupid.

    October 6, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. jonathan hunt, atlanta, GA

    Why is this an issue? why should this be a test on how patriotic a candidate is? is it just because a CNN affiliate started this whole nonsense that we have to get thi shoved down our throat over and over again? does CNN think we are THAT stupid?

    October 6, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    The media totally missed the point. Obama's message was that whetehr one wears the pin does not represent patriotism and that patriotism is shown by what you do. Obama's has made so many important talking points but they have been ignored by the press. One has to wonder whether the journalists are too lazy or intellectual inactive to find real news or they are spinning things out of proportion because of their hidden political positions.

    October 6, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Dee Anna Roberts

    I have a R,W&B key chain shaped like a ribbon that says "Support The Troops" I oppose the War in Iraq and I support Barack Obama's decision to not wear a flag pin made in China. I am also a Christian , but I don't wear a cross. I tend to keep my faith where it belongs. In my heart. This is a ridiculous story and more evidence that the Media has nothing substantial to attack Barack Obama with. In the Summer, I thought it was because the campaign hadn't started , but now that it has , and there's still nothing negative, it's looking more like there really is nothing negative about him to report.

    October 6, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Matt, Albany, GA

    Yes let's move onto other things! Like how Obama will build a Utopia from recycled cola bottles and flattax us by the pound. Go, Obama, go! We're right there with you, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming...

    October 6, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. John Berge, San Francisco, California

    Unfortunately for Obama, he made this an issue for himself. By wearing the pin in the first place to show what a patriot he is.

    October 6, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Adrian, San Diego, CA

    That is very brave of Obama. This decision really shows how courageous this man is. Doing this in the middle and height of a presidential election just shows how he's willing to confront traditional thinking for substantive actions. All i can say is "wow"

    October 6, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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