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. William Carterville, IL

    Good for you Obama~ hope you make it! Good luck.

    If you don't, I hope you would consider a VP position.

    October 5, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. E N Jay, Elizabethtown, KY

    No flag, no vote from this veteran.

    October 5, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Evy FL

    "I find it disturbing that people get bent out of shape that he is not wearing a pin of a symbol, but many of these same people do not feel outraged that millions of children were just denied health care."

    You took the words right out of my mouth!! What the heck was that?? Sad, sad, sad!!! Pathetic!!! What must the other countries think of the US? Denying millions of children healthcare! I am embarrassed, sickened, and saddened all at once! Gosh, I can't wait for someone, anyone, to take a stab at the presidency, just get this one over with!! I don't know how much longer this country can take!

    October 5, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Kelley, Lemon Grove, CA

    Sen. Obama needs to be concerned about HIS image & patriotic behavior & not that of others...wearing the flag pin on his lapel reinforced his attributes as a leader...if others are hypocritical in their actions & appearance, they will be found out...I'm disappointed with Sen. Obama's choice to not display his pride to be an American...

    October 5, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Derrick, Durham, NC

    Why do you point out that Obama won't wear it even when others don't either?

    October 5, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. John, Macomb, Michigan

    Thinks about this. If Obama couldn't carry the weight of a few grams on his lapel, how could he support the weight of a nation?
    Mr. Obama, show your pride,it doesn't weigh much.

    October 5, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. GR Syracuse, New York

    This is why I have a problem with many democrats. So many of them have no problem putting a bush bashing sign on their front lawn or a similar bumper sticker on their hybrid vehicle, but g-d forbid they would put an American Flag pin on their lapel.

    No, wearing such a pin does not prove you are patriotic, but neither do the above-noted symbols. But refusing to wear a flag pin does make a statement in the same way those exercises of free speech do. In addition, it
    further proves Obama's lack of experience and immaturity. He's is not qualified to be President regardless of what he wears on his lapel. Senator, when you are comfortable enough in your own skin to wear the flag pin regardless of what you stand for, I will then take you seriously. You are an American citizen first, and a Presdential candidate second.

    October 5, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Paul, Corona, CA

    Uh, why not do both?

    October 5, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. NB, Lansing, MI

    Good for Obama- a patriot is a patriot whether he wears a pin or not.
    I love the comment by Ed from NY- if we are really going to discuss education- lets start from the top. I believe our President could use a little hooked on phonics!

    October 5, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Rosalyn in Los Angeles

    "Obama no longer wears flag pin",by doing so he shows no respect for this country, he is running for office and he shouldn't be ashame to show his patriotism. I am an undecided voter,and Obama will not get my vote.

    October 5, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Angela Athens GA

    I am not sure which is worse Obama or Hillary. Either way we in trouble! Question EVERY American needs to ponder....When was the last time you heard a name that resembled Obama? He is not a true American, he is a devil in disguise. BEWARE! Do you think George Washington would ever approve of a guy with a foreign name, foreign background, representing America? He can claim to be an American all he wants, but never in a million years would I have never thought our country would acctually show support for a man who is a wanna be American. There is a reason he isn't wearing the "pin". His "real" country won't let him!! Wake up America!!! Ross Perot isn't looking so bad now!!

    October 5, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Rashieka, Starkville MS

    After reading some of the comments, its funny to me. 1 that this even qualifies as news and 2. that people say they won't vote him b/c of this. (Acutally, you weren't going to vote for him anyway). It just goes to show how simple minded people can be. Just because somebody says they would rather SHOW their patriotism through their actions rather than by displaying a pin, he now becomes unpatriotic...give me a break!

    October 5, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. jd,az

    Who is the hyppocrite Obamba trying to impress by not wearing the US flag pin! Probably the un American and radical Left crowds he is soliciting for votes. If he will not wear the US pin, let him run for office in some other country he does feel proud to represent – not the USA

    October 5, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Thomasville, Georgia

    I think that while what Obama says is true about being patriotic in your heart, anyone running for an office, especially the Presidency, should be ashamed not to wear an American flag on his lapel. He just lost lots of points with me and I don't mind sharing how I feel with those around me.

    October 5, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Eric, Newtown, PA

    CNN should just completely hand the reins to Drudge so we'd at least have truth in advertising. This is pathetic.

    October 5, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Alan P, Arlington, TX

    That pin is just like those stupid jesus fish people put on their cars. It has no merit unless you have the right stuff to back it up.

    Check the Flag Code people. We are all violators.

    October 5, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Sandy L., Portland, Oregon

    I agree with Barack Obama in response to not wearing the American Flag Lapel Pin. It is great to hear a Presidential Candidate make a strong statement by reinforcing what our Constituation stands for and that is having a "future" President that believes in "serving the American People." You have my "Vote" sealed with this statement, Barack!

    October 5, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. obama fan, chicago, IL

    i'm so glad that one of these candidates has the guts to not wear this absurd pin.

    October 5, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Bill B., Columbia, MD

    I won't vote for Mr. Obama because I disagree with his plan for the country. Focus on his policy positions, not what he wears on his lapel. This debate is irrelevant, and frankly, a waste of time.

    October 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. dave, Boston, MA

    I wonder if Senator Craig wore won in the bathroom stall?

    October 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Maria in New Hampshire

    As a Hispanic voter not sure about the Democrats, they have show to be very hatefull regarding Patriotism. Hilary is a macho candidate who cares for diversity but only certain color but brown. and Obama is just plain idiot.

    October 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. John P NYC

    The US Flag is so over represented that it has become meaningless. Now all you GOP zealots can start the insults....

    October 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Erik

    Give this up media you are making yourselves look like ididots!

    October 5, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Amy, Seattle, WA

    This is a stupid media article to get people riled up. I agree wholeheartedly, you don't need symbols for show. Actions speak quite a bit louder than words.

    October 5, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    he REFUSES to wear an american flag?

    get out of here

    October 5, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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