October 5th, 2007
02:28 PM ET
12 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. We must win in 08

    Johnny Cockrin once said he wore a cross on his lapel to influence the jury......same thing....Obama is just keeping it real...

    October 6, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    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 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Andrew Santa Clara, California

    Just do Google Image searches of Giuliani and McCain and you'll find pictures of them wearing suits without pins. What's the deal? Should we start requiring flag armbands? Shame, shame on all the candidates who refuse to wear a flag armband.

    October 6, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Dave, Morrisville, NC

    Good for Obama! No need to show your true colors by putting a pin on.

    October 7, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. Rev. Reynard Blake, Jr., East Lansing, Michigan


    Who is this "astute reporter?"

    This question smacks of racism!!! Before this "astute reporter" asked Obama why he didn't wear a pin, did he/she ask that question of a white candidate in ANY election?

    Doesn't Obama LOOK like an American?

    Let me pose a few questions to CNN: If a woman wears men's boxer briefs under her clothes or at home, is she STILL a woman? Stupid question right?

    I'm sorry for my anger and outrage. However, I shouldn't expect much from a station that employs Glenn "prove to me you're not working with the terrorists" Beck and Wolf "I only toss softball questions to the George Bush regime" Blitzer


    October 8, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. Me

    I think we should force all Americans to wear the pin. It should be a law that we all must wear our patriotism on ourselves in some way. Otherwise how can anyone tell us apart from terrorists? Terrorists would never wear an American flag pin.

    October 8, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Nicholai, Palm Harbor, Florida

    I am not an Obama supporter in general but I do agree with him on this issue. I would also like to add that he is a lot better than Hillary and the GOP deserves to lose if Ron Paul does not win the primary.

    October 11, 2007 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  8. Jason, Tacoma WA

    Wearing a pin is no big deal for me but he won't say the Pledge of Allegience or put his hand over his heart for the Anthem either. THAT bothers me.

    October 22, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Jillian, Baltimore, MD

    This statement someone else posted is exactly how I feel ...

    If the flag isnt good enough for him, he isnt good enough for my Vote.

    And Obama said >>>"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest,” what a jack___!!

    October 29, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. feebas_factor

    "Obama has decided not to wear the flag pin."

    "Obama refuses to wear the flag pin."

    "Obama refuses to recognize the flag."

    "Obabam hates the flag."

    "Obama hates America."

    If you cannot see the lunacy here, I am ashamed.

    If you refuse to see the lunacy here, I am disgusted.

    November 22, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Dick Sherwin

    Obama can make any excuse he wants for not wearing the flag pin but he can't hide the fact he insisted on being sworn into office on the Koran, not the Bible. It is a matter of public record! He has also refused to salute the flag during the playing of the National Anthem by placing his hand over his heart. This man is a threat to America and the Muslim world must be laughing their collective posteriors off that a man who is so undeniably supportive of their beliefs and so callous toward America even has a chance to run for President of the United States of America. His slick talk may fool many of you but his actions speak for themselves and I believe real Americans will not support Obama for President.

    January 1, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. brennan

    if any us presidential candidate refuses to wear the american flag, that should be a red flag. sounds like some slippery logic to me, Obama.

    January 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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