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. T André B, Seattle, WA

    I can't believe some of these comments!!

    How many of you people who are slamming Obama for deciding not to wear a pin are wearing this pin yourselves?

    And I cannot believe the comments questioning whether he will stop flying the flag next. Are we really willing to compare an American tradition to a fashion trend?!! Not to mention a fashion trend upheld by the current administration which stands for nearly nothing?!

    The only response that may be valid for this thread should be directed to CNN –

    While you [cnn] are considering profit margins – you should be considering the well-being of the American people.

    October 5, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    Its still amazes me how trully DISGUSTED i can be with my "fellow americians"

    Truth is... the people that are flipping out about him not wearing a pin NEVER would have voted for him anyway. Dont act like the pin makes difference. You will always vote for the wolf in sheeps clothing. Tells you what you want to hear, but will stab in the front as soon as he is elected.

    I hope your children are smarter than you, so at least there will be some hope for the future.

    When historian look back at what caused the DEMISE of this great nation the will look the Bush Administration Part2

    October 5, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. US Veteran

    The pin is probably made in China... like everything else!!!!

    October 5, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Georgina, Victoria, Canada

    Oh dear, it's just what I was worried about. You still have "pinheads" in your country whose vote will be decided on nothing more than the wearing of a flag broach. Somebody help us all.

    October 5, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Baltimore, MD 21234

    This is such a NON story. If you need to wear a pin to be a patriot that is just sad, and more than a tad disingenuous. I have more respect for Obama now, good for him. We need leaders, not lemmings who just care how they come across. For anyone who would call him “not patriotic,” I assume you all wear a flag pin 24-7 and regularly make trips over to the Middle East to ask if there is anything you can do to help. Right?

    October 5, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. James, Toledo, OH

    He must REALLY want Hillary to win. He tries to do too much of this kind of thing to seperate himself from the pack. Trying numerous outside-the-box gimmicks might make sense if you're starting a new .COM company, but it doesn't normally fair well for candidates trying to win presidential elections.

    Most American's will not understand why he did this. Most people will not read this news story that explains why he did, thus hurting his hidden message to voters.

    Keep it simple, stupid.

    October 5, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. John, Alabama


    October 5, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Shawn, Denver CO

    Big deal! IT'S A PIN - A PEICE OF JEWELRY! How many Americans wear these pins on a consistent basis? For that matter, how many of our veterans do you think walk around everyday with a flag pin on their chest?

    October 5, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Cyndi, Cheshire, CT

    If Obama doesn't want to proudly display the american flag pin, maybe he would like to move to another country and display their flag

    October 5, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Al: Pittsburgh Pa.

    Shameful: Why would anyone vote foe this radical muslim sypathizer, to be President of the United States:

    Their were questions before, of what his religious leanings and teachings were and this solidifies for me and others, that he is unworthy of our support.

    October 5, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Matt D., Kansas City, MO

    Wearing the pin is not hard. You can wear the pin and still spew forth empty promises. So if you really want to lead the country, or manage a team, or work for the utility company – wear the uniform. Put your BRAND out there. As a candidate, wear the flag and tell us how you plan to be a patriot. There is something fishy about not wearing the flag and I bet our enemies love that he has chosen to not be in full uniform.

    October 5, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Brian, Bloomington IL

    To Trollmaster:
    Um...didn't Lennon SAY the Beatles were bigger than God? Nah, that's not tooting your own horn. Being from IL, I find Obama a patriotic disgrace for his comments. A silver tongue, but no silver lining here.

    October 5, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Oscar B, Modesto CA

    I'm not concerned with the topic of Obama not wearing the pin, I'm a lot more concerned with the ideas some of you people have based on your comments. WAKE UP! For the sake of our children....

    Our country is beginning to fall! Our jobs are being sent overseas, healthcare is still an issue, our environment is warning us already with abnormal weather patterns, our education system needs help, our US dollar is losing value by the minute, gas, food, living costs continue to rise while my salary might possibly go down! PLEASE, WAKE UP... Forget democrat or replublican, vote with your heart.

    I feel sorry for our children. They will be forced to "make an attempt" to clean up our mess. We will only leave them a destroyed environment, economy, government, and way of living.

    I won't tell you who to vote for. That is your right to decide. What I will ask of you is to do research, look at every possible angle, and hope for the best for our families, our country, and our Earth!

    October 5, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Matt D., Kansas City, MO

    AMEN to Rock Hill, SC.

    October 5, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    After scrolling down the ticker blog page i would like to annouce that the only persons that wore a lapel pin in all the pictures are Craig and Rudy.

    Non other republican candiate wore the pin, not even McCain.

    The democrates that wore it only did so at the debate.

    Off all the pictures of Bush, he only had it on ONCE.

    I guess the only patriotic thing we can do is elect either Craig or Rudy president.

    Also Obama did not make an anouncement that he was no longer wearing the pin. Some reporter asked him and OMG he answered honestly. <- an honest answer from a polititian. Trully!!! what is this world comming to

    October 5, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Seam, Philly PA

    I sure hope everyone on this blog are in pre-school because you all sound like a bunch of petty little kids. "I'm not voting for him because he's not wearing the flag pin" – shut up or grow up! You were never voting for him in the 1st place, you morons.

    October 5, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Walter, Chicago

    It's pretty ironic that people are questioning his patriotism because he won't wear an American Flag pin that was made in China.
    Welcome to the stupification of politics.

    October 5, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Nora Michigan

    patriotism??? Obama do u know that is part of Patriotism??
    If Obama cant decide to ware it or not...Maybe the american people should think twice about electing him as a "PATRIOT President".

    October 5, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Austin, Greenville, SC

    [Posted By C C Richard, Rock Hill, SC : October 5, 2007 2:01 pm]

    [Islam believes believe that un-Islamic people are Infidels and they teach if they cannot convert Christians or Zionist to Islam then it’s a service to allah to kill us or Jihad (holy war) against us.]

    Prove it. Cite a passage from the Koran which says as much.

    [If he becomes president do you think that he will send American troops to Annialate his people?]

    Who exactly do you think "his people" are? Why would the PotUS send American troops to annihilate them?


    How is this different from Christianity?

    October 5, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. monica, rochester new york

    Don Deland of Florida, you say "you're concerned about aligning with a candidate who represents muslims"
    Well you should be more concerned with whatever propaganda machine fed you the lie that Obama is a muslim. He's not and has never been. So you're either choosing to believe and spread a lie on purpose which is next door to evil, or you're allowing yourself to be a victim of a malicious and false information source which is ignorant. So I'm concerned at the number of people who are so ignorant (or worse) that they either believe or deliberately choose to spread false information about someone. If you don't support a candidate at least base it on information that is true. Those who spread false information intentionally, are you that willing to win at any cost? The ends justify the means? With those kind of values coming from his opponent's supporters, it makes me even more confident that Obama is the best choice. He is Christian, intelligent, honest and has excellent judgment. Obama wears the flag in his heart, he speaks the words of what the flag represents. And those of you who think that's not enough and that he also has to wear a fashionable lapel pin, then I think our country is in big trouble.

    October 5, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Tony, Durham, NC

    First off i'd like to give credit to ABC news for reporting on the Reporter who asked Obama about his lapel pin, because in the ABC report they pointed out all the other candidates who DONT WEAR a pin yet their patriotism is not being questioned by CNN. John Edwards, John McCain are two among many that dont wear a pin, i agree with everybody who made a post about how when such things become standard they become mediocre and irrelevant because some of these cats are wearing it out of obligation rather than patriotism because they fear exactly what happened to Obama, some dumbass reporter or whoever it was that lacked the creativity to ask a question of substance. Its almost become a superstition among politicians now, thanks CNN you've invented a new superstition.

    October 5, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Vancouver, BC

    What bothers me is that a reporter would notice "there was something missing..." as if showing the flag of one's country on a lapel is a requirement for politicians. This simple "expectation" is further evidence of the sad lemming mentality of many in the media in post-9/11 life.

    Legislated displays of patriotism and flag waving call to mind Berlin of the late 30's and early 40's. Because The Current Occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania, and the one sitting at his right hand are wearers of The Pin should be reason enough for anyone to question the real motives behind such a display.

    Something tells me that, if elected, this man will choose to wear The Pin for entirely different and noble reasons.

    October 5, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Chris, Palm Bay, FL

    People are absolutely insane! You applaud Obama for not wearing a lapel pin, and accuse those who do wear them as phony. As if that isn’t ridiculous enough, you then attack President Bush with the usual “idiot”, “moron”, and “stupid” remarks. Fact one; like him or not, I guarantee Mr. Bush is smarter than those who criticize him…particularly the clowns on this blog. So he can’t say ‘nuclear’ to save his life, and he mistakenly said “OPEC” at the APEC summit. He’s not a smooth talker like Mr. Clinton, but he’s also not a lying sack of corn mash like Mr. Clinton. Maybe one day liberals will stop picking style over substance.

    As far as flags being nothing but phony displays of patriotism. I guess all of those flags draped across caskets of fallen military members (that liberals want splashed all over the news) are phony gestures as well.

    October 5, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Tony.....Louisville, Ky.

    Congress thinks its ok to burn our flag, its ok to fly the Mexican flag while protesting in our streets, give benefits away free to illegals, and all this moron reporter could ask is about some damn lapel pin? All these other things, congress calls "freedom of Speech", why is this pin such a big deal? I guess if Obama burned the lapel pin, it would have been ok?

    October 5, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Illinois Supporter, IL

    Wonderfully said, Mr. President!

    October 5, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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