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. Pat, Huntington, NY

    It reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer did a walk-a-thon to raise money for AIDS..."What do you mean you are not going to where the ribbon? Everyone wheres the ribbon!"

    October 5, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |

    Obama has not told the truth about why he stopped wearing the pin. He probably did not know anyone will notice. America beware!! This is it.

    October 5, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Obama wears the pin after 9-11 but takes it off because of phony patriotism??


    Phony patriotism is putting ON the flag pin when you're doing it cause "everyone else is", Obama.

    October 5, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I guess that means Obama doesn't love his country.

    On the other hand, George Bush can lie to the American people; sap our miltary resources by involving us in a bogus war when a much more dangerous foe needs to be destroyed; screw up the U.S. economy almost beyond repair; propose amnesty for millions of illegal alien criminals; have you people out a government agent for political reasons, and then commute the sentence of a friend who obstructed the investigation; but as long as he wears that little flag pin he's a Great Leader.

    Get real.

    October 5, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. David, Tulsa OK

    So, did he stop telling his wife that he loves her because other people do that in a cynical way, and she should just now it from other actions?

    If he is elected president, will he not wear the pin? And if he is elected and does wear the pin, will that make him a hypocrite - or make this little action look like a petty way to differentiate himself from other candiates?

    October 5, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Kate, Aurora CO

    Personally I could care less if the man wears a pin or not. What I care about is if this man is serious about showing his patriotism then how about pulling our troops out of a war with no end in sight? We all know now this "war" is a failure and to keep putting our armed forces in danger is just, for lack of a better word, stupid. Every candidate has said they don't see our pulling out of Iraq until at least 2013. So we admit this war was a failure, we admit we are losing and fighting in a war we have no business being in and yet no candidate will have the courage to stand up and say No More. I will vote for any candidate regardless of party if they can promise to start pulling our troops out immediately after getting sworned into office. Other than that I have no interest in voting for any of these candidates. The same old rhetoric and the same old promises with nothing to back any of it up.

    October 5, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I have twenty-two flags on my car because I am twenty-two times more patriotic than you.

    October 5, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Hypocrisy at its finest;

    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."

    I am sure United States of America is already the greatest country on our planet!

    October 5, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    Wearing a pin (superficial affectations of patriotism) and motivating people by fear has been the GOP play book since 9-11. If the ambition of our leaders has been to move us closer to a police state, they've done a good job of it. Fear is unbecoming in a free people.

    October 5, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. JP, Michigan

    The pin was probably made in China, anyway.

    And Pat in Huntington, NY...good call about the Seinfeld episode!

    October 5, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. CNNislacking Columbus, OH

    I like Obama, but come on CNN report news. Isn't that what you are here for?

    October 5, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Patsy, Wichita Falls,TX

    CAn anyone tell me how wearing a flag pin that was probably Made In China (using lead paint,no doubt) makes you more patriotic....maybe if they were made in the USA ,I might even wear one

    October 5, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Dave Meccariello

    I like Obama but refusing the pin kinda irritates me a little. I dont know why, but there it is in the back of my head. This is going to come back to bite him

    I have a feeling that many others feel this way. Its just a symbol but his refusal sounds "off" for a presidential candidate. It almost sounds "contemptuous" or "disrespectfull.

    October 5, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Mary Ann

    What's the big deal? The pin was probably made in China anyway.-

    October 5, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Terry Kirby, Magnolia, Texas

    I have a daughter serving her 3rd tour in the Middle East...she asked a real basic question, "Why can't he do both?". Something fishy here.

    October 5, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Master Sergeant Baker, Fort Bragg, NC

    What a joke Obama. People in the US protest the war and burn the US flag because of the protest but that does not mean that we should all take our flags down. Put the lapel back on and wear it proudly regardless of how other people act or view it. Or maybe your just not proud to be an American???

    October 5, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |

    People who root for a favorite team like the TB Bucs wear there teams apparall in support of that team. Maybe Barack Obama won't wear the pin because he truly isn't an American, he's a Muslim at Heart.

    October 5, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Daniel Rezai, Forest VA

    This is wonderful!!!! I am glad to see a political elite who finally recognizes that being a true patriot does not mean that you have to wear the latest lapel pin and down trod on all those who are not "in the now" on patriotic memorabilia. This is just further proof why Barack Obama is the best man for the job of President of the United States!!!!

    October 5, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. chris, portland, maine

    Nice headline. Pretty much what I would expect from Fox News...oh, this is CNN? I guess not much difference.

    October 5, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Delise Means Tulsa, OK

    Obama really should wear the pin!!!!!

    October 5, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Jeff Hughes

    What is non patriotic about doing both! That pin is a symbol of our Honor, Courage, and Committment to the fallin 911 personnel and the United States of America!!! What is he tryibng to say? Is he hoping to get the votes of people who would look down on him for stand for the USA! What a Dirt Bag! He discuss me and should discuss everybody esle!

    October 5, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Mo, Chicago IL

    I totally agree with Obama. This is yet another great example of how not phoney he is.

    Besides, I think it's great to love America, but also the whole world. Why are we so Ameri-Centric? I think we'd do better if we viewed ourselves as global citizens with the duty to respect everyone. I'm tired of the fear mongering and being afraid of other people in other countries. People are people. Love thy neighbor.

    October 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Raymond Oklahoma City, OK

    OK..I give in Obama made a good point and then I remember that in the past one elected official refused to take his oath of office on the Bible and instead said it had to be the Koran. Am I mistaken wasn't this the same guy? Do we want him to lead "OUR" country?

    October 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Turned Off

    What's next, Obama decides not to fly the flag? Displaying our country's colors IS an action of patriotism. The most important? No. But refusing to display the colors sends the wrong message from a would be Commander in Chief.

    October 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Tom, Portland, OR

    If a Republican stopped wearing the pin, it would be considered a brave, principled stand of resolve and substance, etc. If a Dem does it the GOP/mass-media-believer/McCarthyist types come out to condemn him.

    October 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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