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. Nick, Falls Church, VA

    So who flag does he want to wear? Osama, I mean Obama can NOT be trusted.

    October 6, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Antony, Dallas TX

    Obama is quite right. You can can wear a wedding ring and walk around with your wife whereas you are actually gay and all this is to cover up your gay side. No wonder CNN is lagging behind all other main stations in ratings. They have been having slow newsdays. This is news?. I do not wear the flag pin and that does not qualify me as unpatriotic. If the flag pin means anything, we would not be in this war, we would not have 47 million uninsured Americans and certainly the flag pin would not be made in CHINA.

    October 6, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Tired of Corruption LV

    the media is trying very hard to come up with dirt on Senator Obama. And their astute "journalist" came up with this and CNN is running with it. How pathetic.

    Clinton meeting in Florida with lobbyists and politicians who are heads of committees to teach the lobbyists how to get the most bang for their buck was not news. Mark Penn with the Clinton campaign providing info to the polling companies is not news. Penn's ties to Blackwater is not news. The fact that 1 in every 6 people in NY are not covered by healthcare (HRC's state) is not news. The real story on the 9/11 heroes and the lack of healthcare is not news.

    And people wonder why blogging on the internet has become so popular. The media is so cowardly and inept – that's why.

    October 6, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Adam, Plano, TX

    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.
    Posted By A. Thomas, New York, NY : October 5, 2007 8:37 pm

    are you serious? i'm having a really hard time telling. either this post is internet sarcasm, or you're just so naive, you actually believe this crap your posting.

    October 6, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Tired of Corruption LV

    Our politicians, Clinton, Edwards, etc sent our sons & daughters to war without even reading the intelligence report. The lives of these young people weren't important enough for them to read approximately 90 pages. The facts in this report would have shown them that Bush was fabricating his "facts".

    But they thought their political careers would be boosted by voting for sending our young people to die and be maimed. That's news – where are your constatnt reports on that.

    Oh right – too afraid to go up against the Clinton revenge machine. Well, thankfully a lot of us aren't. Grow a spine – report real news.

    October 6, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. anon, new york, NY

    Based on Obama's logic of not wearing an american flag pin to be patriotic to america:

    – You do not need to get a marriage licence to be a couple or parent.

    – YOu do not need to christian church to be a christian.

    – You do not need to go to a muslim church to be a muslim.

    What kidn of crooked value system this guy have!

    October 6, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Why should the lack of patriotism be viewed as patriotism in different modes?
    Strategically is a very bad move. It shifts a creative strategy to a pandora box of fundamental doubts. THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY FROM NOW UNTIL THE PRIMARIES.
    What's next, tear down all the masoleums to the fallen in action?
    These raise serious doubts–especially when America is still fighting the war on terror.
    Ahh! such a lunatic way to a look at American values!

    October 6, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Adam, Plano, TX

    Based on Obama's logic of not wearing an american flag pin to be patriotic to america:

    – You do not need to get a marriage licence to be a couple or parent.

    – YOu do not need to christian church to be a christian.

    – You do not need to go to a muslim church to be a muslim.

    What kidn of crooked value system this guy have!
    Posted By anon, new york, NY : October 6, 2007 11:38 am

    i ask of you, what kind of crooked value system do you have? it takes someone completely crooked to twist something so harmless and logical as this into something negative.

    October 6, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Eric, Newtown, PA

    CNN: Drudge Light.

    October 6, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Tony Garing, Modesto, CA


    October 6, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Brian, Syracuse NY

    I can't believe some people are ignorant enough to actually complain about this.

    October 6, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. MarkieBee

    Maybe the Clinton News Network should have Vinod Gupta do a poll on how many "likely" voters are upset by Obama's position on the lapel pin issue. I think we all know that it would come back 100 percent are pissed off and 53 percent plan on voting for Hillary. The fact that the total equals 153 percent is explained in InfoUSA's methodology: "I, Vinod Gupta, vow to taint each and every poll CNN buys from me to show that I'm a bigger friend to the Clinton's than Hsu ever was. Oh, and our margin of error is plus or minus infinity."

    October 6, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. MarkieBee

    I forgot the patriot who said this, but it's appropos: "I don't need to pin a picture of my mother on my lapel to know that I love her."

    October 6, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. SyF, Chicago Illinois


    "The top story of the day, somebody is not wearing a pin, lets execute them!"

    October 6, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Linda, Chandler AZ

    The only "source of scrutiny" on this issue has been from YOU, CNN. This is beyond ridiculous. Obama gave at least three incredible speeches this week...on foreign policy...on the torture memos...on health care for Vets. And THIS is what you write about????? The main stream media is really starting to disgust me.

    October 6, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Madoxx, Ottawa via New York, NY.

    No amount of defensive rehetoric will work. Obama was caught dry. He is trying to fumble with mumbo-jumbo to make it appear that the pin doesn't matter. Matter of fact, it matters. The worst he did is attempting to put a spin on the relevance of wearing the pin.

    October 6, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    We all know this is a smear effort by CNN. But truth the average American that has seen this on TV for 2 seconds, already think it is a stupid topic. No one is falling for a ridiculous attack.
    It has quit the opposite effect by looking like it is attacking Obama and therefore has gotten him sympathy. Especially when the other Candidates agreed with him that Patriotism is what you do and not whether one wears a Made in China pin.
    CNN you’re seen as attacking the underdog and America hates that. Ironically CNN has made him the underdog by touting Hillary as the inevitable front-runner. Good thing Obama has the money to combat future dumb attacks.
    If CNN keeps reporting this, Obama should put out an AD with him taking off a flag pin flip it over and it reads Made in China, Then look into the camera and ask Now is this a symbol of Patriotism and not my time as Community Organizer, State Senator US Senator etc..

    October 6, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Ron Nebraska

    I think if you look it up you'll find that none of the current wearers of flag lapel pins were wearing them before 9/11. Does this mean they weren't actually patriotic until AFTER the attacks? HUMMMMM!?

    October 6, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. stan pitts p.a

    Barack obama already serves this country as a senator, what more do you want, he would rather focus on the difficult issues we face as a nation instead of attached a made in china with lead American flag…part of the problem we need to fix, American flag pins should only be made in the u.s.a, but thanks to bush and previous administrations our country has been sold out and we have to depend on china to make our flag pins what a shame, i dont wear a flag pin, when i can find one made in the u.s.a i would gladly buy it, lets focus on the issues and rebuild this nations economy,our dollar is falling every day, the canadian dollar is worth the same we got major issues, im glad obama is a serious candidate who is only interested in the real stuff real Americans care about "our beloved country", and the dire issues facing us, if we pick hillary, we get more of the same, i will vote for bill any day, but since he is not running, i wont vote hillary, as it appears she is being coronated and forced down our throats by the media in this country, Americans are smarter this time around go barack 08!!!

    October 6, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. rm, kc, mo

    Whats the point? Does that mean that the average citizen is not patriotic since they aren't wearing flag pins? I can think of a ton of reasons NOT to vote for Obama, but this isnt anywhere on the list.
    Seriously, how about reporting NEWS?

    October 7, 2007 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  21. pam Eugene OR

    CNN Get off this horse...you have ridden it to death. The comments here are so small minded and reporting them on three different blogs still does not give them velevence.
    OMG...he is not wearing his pin. Well he will NEVER get my vote now!!! And we all know he is muslim anyway. Right???
    Get a life. He is the best man for the job and deserves our respect. Were's the beef CNN?

    October 7, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Henry Tucker, Ga


    "I decided I won't wear that (american flag) pin on my chest.” ~ Barack Hussein Obama

    "I did NOT have sex with that woman, Monica Lewisnki" ~ William Jefferson Clinton

    "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton

    "It's a choice" ~ Bill Richardson speaking about people being gay.

    “We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.” ~ John Edwards' view of young black men

    October 8, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Ron, Piscataway, New Jersey

    Because you don't wear a pin means you're not suitable for President! If someone uses that as a reason not to vote him...thatr is a truely lazy voter.
    His reasoning is actually very valid. He doesn't need some object to express patriotism. His actions and the very fact that he serves in the US senate and is running for President shows patriotism enough.
    Also, those of you who critisize Obama for not wearing a pin, do you wear a pin? If not does that make YOU an unpatriotic American? If the answer is no then you should be quiet.

    Obama 2008!!

    October 8, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Aaron, Lynnwood, WA

    Well I'm glad that he's not hiding behind the flag and pretending to be patriotic, since he doesn't support the constitution anyway. The 2nd amendment isn't about hunting Mr. Obama. It's about defending my life and liberty from whoever would threaten it. That means so-called assault rifles. That means semi-automatic handguns. That doesn't mean duck hunting. Leave guns alone. in the 20th century 54 million people were murdered by their governments shortly after strong gun control was passed, because they couldn't fight back.

    Obama seems like such a great guy. It's too bad he doesn't care about my freedom. The burden of freedom is that you have to accept everyone else's.

    October 9, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. T.C. Napa, CA

    This is just ridiculous. I just can't even begin to fathom what a stupid, and irrelevant point this is. If you don't see why, then you're voting for all the wrong reasons.

    You people only further make my goal of teaching my children critical thinking skills all that more important. Lord help us, but we have sheep baying about lapel pins and how that is important to the political process.

    October 17, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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