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. Carol Young

    Well, if you are counting–that's it!
    NO vote for Oba! And I don't like Hillary , so I guess it's Rudi.
    Carol Young

    October 5, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Rick Flair, Media PA

    Good for you. I'm sick of pin and sticker companies making millions for no reason.

    October 5, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    WHO CARES!!! This man is running for President of the United States of America....how patriotic can he get. It just shows how the American general public care more about whats on the outside not the inside. Wake up people, there is more to worry about then just a pin!!!

    October 5, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Ken Grovetown, GA

    I'm sorry but a patriot makes the effort to support a nation at war. By conciously choosing not to wear the pin is more of a sla[ in the face than those who wear it without "meaning it."

    October 5, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    The fact that George W. Bush wears a lapel pin is the main reason I won't, because unlike our dear "Connecticut Cowboy," I served, proudly, and he didn't; but now he wears it like a slogan!

    Bush's approval rating overseas is at 9% – per Reuters, International!

    Oh, I know, they're stupid; Bush is always right, blah, blah, blah...!!!

    October 5, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Enoch, Nashville, Tennessee

    Somebody help me! is this Foxnews? I don't know the difference anymore.

    October 5, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Concerned Voter

    Yet another of CNN's attempts to disparage Barak while they promote Hillary. CNN has been pro-Hillary since before the first Democratic debate, when CNN's headline implied that it was a debate where only Hillary mattered- before the debate even started.

    October 5, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. CT, VA

    Bravo, no need to feed into the Republican fear tactics. 9/11 should be remembered but not thrown into everyone's face every day.

    I still say you should join with Hiliary...

    October 5, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    To Kevin in KC:

    Bush wears a pin, and he gave so much/served where?

    But thanks for checking in....

    October 5, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Tony Luna, san Antonio Tx

    it is about the pin. Any chance we as Americans can display how proud we are to have our liberty. Ask the guys at Iwo Gima, Bastone, or KeSan about displaying the flag.... The US flag gets burned enough..why not support it...

    October 5, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Josh

    I'm not ashamed to wear the flag pin. Don't muslims eschew jewelry? Maybe that's why.
    Posted By deucebollards : October 4, 2007 9:18 pm

    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.
    Posted By RA MILLER, TAMPA, FL : October 5, 2007 11:49 am

    If you feel you are a patriot, then you would not shun our flag because of what others do. Is this more of a devotion to the muslim community? This man cannot be trusted.
    Posted By Kim, CT : October 5, 2007 12:22 pm

    For the last time, people, Obama is not a Muslim, he's a Christian!

    And since when does religion have to do with patriotism, anyhow?!

    October 5, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Everett McGregor

    i love barack obama for everything he is and everything he represents.

    your title for this article makes him sound like a traitor, when he is actually the exact opposite.

    as a lifelong registered republican who has abandoned the new world order philosophy of the republican party and the current administration, i am offended that you constantly misrepresent the truth in order to retain an increasingly sceptical audience.

    cnn has become the tmz of news journalism.

    October 5, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Patrick, Houston, Tx


    October 5, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |



    October 5, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Don DeLand Florida

    I am concerned what is in His heart? It concerns me that people are considering a person who aligns with the very triranny we are defending our nation. A Religion that would like to desimate America, What is really in His heart?? I am very concerned.

    October 5, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Josh

    He refuses to wear OUR Flag, Hello wake up people!!! Refuse him as OUR president!!
    Posted By Lynne, Watkinsville GA : October 5, 2007 12:31 pm

    You see, Lynne, that's exactly the kind of faux patriotism that Obama was alluding to. Thanks for proving his point.

    October 5, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Steve

    I have to say that I respect him for this. He is right as to people putting on American flag pins and then treat others disrespectfully.
    It is no different than people that claim to be christian who put a "I love Jesus" bumper sticker on their car and then drive around cutting people off in a wreckless manner.

    October 5, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Rosa Peralta. San Antonio. Texas

    Yah right, who do you think we are to believe you? Should have had a better answer!

    October 5, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. r schier norwalk, ct

    Just another controlled media ploy to distract brainwashed Americans, while
    the same ornery cr*p takes place behind
    the scenes....Unfortunately, it seems
    like it always works....

    October 5, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. jason smith, upstate, ny

    Why is CNN still regurgitating this unless they have some political slant??? shouldn't you question why a candidate wears them and ask them what being patriotic means to them???

    Maybe, if there were still a concept such as journalistic integrity, ask Bush what principles he is supposed to be defending by his blatant attacks on sovereign nations who have nothing to do with our security....and torturing innocent civilians..

    Bush used doubletalk constantly, now refusing to prosecute shady paramilitary organizations who are civilian on one hand so do not have to respect any military laws, and now on the other hand are military when asked to account for their actions in civilian court...

    what kinds of alice in wonderland are we living in???

    Isn't what the slimeball in charge more important?? Shouldn't we be questioning Bush's integrity???

    Obama has morals and principles, and knows what being truly patriotic means, not King George who says if you don't attack a sovereign nation over lies, you are unpatriotic....

    Bush is a slimeball...try to focus on the real issues, such as who will get us OUT of Iraq, who WILL insure children in this country...who WILL create REAL jobs BESIDES the inflated military in this country??? Why is it 90 degree in NY in OCtober since, according to the White House, global warming, human-induced or otherwise, is a myth???

    October 5, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    This is a ridiculous article. Please try to think of something more important to write about other than whether or not he wears a pin on his chest. You are looking for trouble that isn't there. I'm not even going to vote for him, but this is just stupid.

    October 5, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Ray, Rochester

    Obama is an idiot. This is another lame attempt by him to breathe life into his dying campaign. He has lost at least 20% in the polls and now trails Hillary by an astonishing margin.

    As more and more Americans really listen to what this lightweight has to say, they come away disatisfied with his foamy message.

    His "touchy-feely" speeches are full of bumpersticker slogans but light on specifics. He meanders from point to point saying bizarre things. For example, he constantly beats the "I was against the Iraq war" deadhorse yet advocates an invasion of nuclear armed Pakistan if they won't deliver Bin Laden.

    Obama's campaign continues to try to grasp at anything that will pull him up the polls. This is why he makes ridiculous naive points and tries to create news by not wearing a flag pin. How that equates to "false patriotism" is anyone's guess. In fact, what it does do is alienate millions of Americans who wear the pin and hang their flag. To accuse these people of "false patriotism" is a mistake.

    Obama had his chance early on, but the more he speaks the less sense he makes. He may try to position himself as a VP, but a ticket with him and Hillary is sure to lose because too many Americans can't stand her and aren't comfortable with him leading us in a time of Islamist terrorism.

    October 5, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. MIke Kaplan, philadelphia PA

    An "astute reporter" noticed that Obama wasn't wearing a flag pin? That's not the term I would use. I'd call him a petty and stupid reporter with no sense at all of what is really important. Here, on the day we find out that the Justice Department issued "secret opinions" allowing people to be tortured in our name, your "astute reporter" is worried about a flag pin? And here at CNN, I see nothing about the torture memos, but you still found room for this ridiculous non-story (along with plenty of nonsense about Britney, K-fed, Kid Rock, and other unimportant piffle.) Personally, I am very tired of the flag pins, yellow ribbons, red white and blue ribbons, and other displays of FALSE PATRIOTISM.

    October 5, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Nelson colorado springs co

    Sen Obama is right it time let go. I don't think bush wear his anymore. A lot sentors have stop wearing the flag pin. so what it don't make you a better American

    October 5, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Blaine, Anchorage Alaska

    I am glad he is not wearing the American Flag as a lapel. It should be worn by those with Pride that support what the United States stands for. Freedom!

    October 5, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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