October 5th, 2007
05:57 PM ET
14 years ago

Two of Obama's rivals weigh in on flag pin

Watch Richardson weigh in on Obama's lack of a flag pin.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's, D-Illinois, decision not to wear an American Flag pin was dismissed as a non-issue Friday by two of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, said she didn't know if it was a "serious issue" that Obama didn't wear a pin and added, "There are so many ways that Americans can show their patriotism." (Video: Clinton weighs in on the flag pin)

"Wearing a flag pin. Flying the flag. Pledging allegiance to the flag. Talking about the values of America. Teaching your children about what a great nation we have. Standing up for those values. Speaking out. There's just so many ways one can demonstrate patriotism," Clinton said in a press conference.

She added that she wears her pin "from time to time."

Meanwhile, CNN's Don Lemon asked New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who was wearing a flag pin at the time, what he thought of the matter.

"Patriotism is what you do and I don't think anyone should - if you feel good about wearing it, wear it,” he said. “I wear it. It's perfectly good to wear it. I love this flag. I love this country. I wear it. But patriotism is about what you do, not what you say."

Obama told a KCRG-TV reporter this week that he has made a conscious decision not to wear the pin.

"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest,” the Democratic presidential candidate told the reporter 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."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Bee

    "…I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great." —
    Is Osama, I mean Obama saying that this country is not already great, and is that why he decides not to wear the flag? Furthermore, once HE has made our country great will he then wear the flag? I think wearing the flag is the most visible way for one to show pride in their country, and I for one would not support a man who refuses to do the simpliest of gestures.
    This is the most ridiculous staement i have ever heard from the right wing nuckle head. Fear mongering idiot

    FYI, his name is Obama.

    I am not going to wear the damn pin until we restore America to his sense of fortrightness. No more right wing division, CClinton Lies and so on

    October 5, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Robert, Columbia, MO

    I feel embarrassed that there are Americans that imbue a tiny symbol with so much importance. I guess it is difficult for sheep to focus on something more substantive, like deeds.

    October 5, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Connie, Tn.

    Patriotism is not defined by wearing a pin made in China. That is a carry-over from 09/11 that is doing nothing but bragging. Bush has done more harm to this country and I notice he wears his pin.

    October 5, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Jamaal, Charlotte,NC

    The Official "Who Cares?" news of the day....

    October 5, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Steve, San Ramon, CA

    A stupid issue for stupid people. Right up cnn's alley.

    October 5, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Troy, Philly PA

    This is a non-issue. Only one candidate ALWAYS wears the pin and that is Guiliani. I actually question Guiliani more for always wearing the pin. What else has he done but be mayor and help during 9/11.

    October 5, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Matthew, Keller, TX

    This muslim is dispicable! This is a prime example of double standards! If President Bush stopped wearing the Flag pin, all of the dumb liberals on CNN would call for an impeachment! But, because this idiot is a liberal and black, we say it's no big deal! Give me a break!

    October 5, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Kyle Richards

    Whis is this news? What does it matter? Why is the media offering this as a legitimate news story? A lapel pin? Really, folks!! Aren't there more important things for us to focus on?!

    October 5, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. steve albuquerque

    Scrolling through the pictures on Political Ticker – many politicians aren't wearing the flag pin – including fred thompson, tancredo,huckabee, James Dobson, etc.

    But guess who is??? Larry "wide stance" Craig

    Who and who isn't wearing this pin is a meaningless, pointless argument

    October 5, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Robert Rupar, Fort Smith, Arkansas

    Then, what flag or flags does he prefer to wear? I guess for someone that has never and will never serve the flag doesn't mean anything. I am in the armed forces. How about we remove the flags from our uniform to show the respects for our fallen men and women. To Mr. Obama, I'll fight for your freedom, but will never vote for you.

    October 5, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. James, Phoenix AZ


    "Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, said she didn't know if it was a "serious issue" that Obama didn't wear a pin..."

    Hillary doesn't know if it's a serious issue because the polling numbers on the issue haven't been gathered just yet. She WILL have an opinion soon...

    Hillary DOES, however, feel the US government should pay for every American to have a flag pin!

    Universal Healthcare, Baby Bonds, Amnesty for Illegals, Tax-payer funded pet science projects, and FLAG PINS for all.

    October 5, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. emma, chicago IL

    I am SO glad to see someone reject the symbol in favor of the real thing. For too long our country has been "led" by someone who has the symbol and zero substance. Thank goodness someone is willing to bring some measure of reality back to politics!! I am so hoping this is a trend.

    So much better than wearing a pin and, say, vetoing a bill that the majority of your constituents were in favor of. How about truly doing your best for the American people instead?

    October 5, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. anna, Appleton, WI

    I've been a Democrat for years BUT as this election year gets closer one thing I've certainly noticed is that the Democrats have a list a mile long of things they want the Americans to pay for with their taxes. I'm frankly tired of our taxes forever increasing to due politicians "ideas" being charged to us, the citizens!! The next time you hear Clinton or Obama or whoever, Democrat or Republican, tell you they want health care, etc. you have to ask yourself just how much can you afford?? Their promises will be paid for with our tax dollars!!

    October 5, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Jeff English, San Antonio, Tx

    Well, I guess if he will not proudly wear our flag I will continue not to consider him as a serious Presidential candidate. But I'd like to hear his reason for not wearing it. Thanks Obama for taking yourself out of the race.....

    October 5, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. David Louisville KY

    Mr. Richardson hit the nail on the head.

    "..... I wear it. But patriotism is about what you do, not what you say."

    Maybe it is time for all politicians to get on this bandwagon.

    October 5, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Ben

    Every citizen should be required to wear one. Anyone found without it, should be arrested!!

    October 5, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. jb, mariposa, CA


    The country has plenty on Bush already. I wish the only thing we would have to be concerned about GWB would be wether or not he wore a lapel pin. This actually has been good for Bush in that it had diverted attention away from the millions of children he just denied health care to.

    October 5, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Daniel, NY

    This is an absurd controversy. Obama said something very reasonable, but look for the GOP to run away with it. What's next, a House resolution?More analysis at CampaignDiaries.com

    October 5, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. RightyTighty

    This is how a corrupt media makes news. Its hurting your candidate this time Obama supporters. But you cheer the same bias against others.
    Together we can unmask this paper media dragon as the bias instigators they are and bring back the unbiased mediators we deserve..

    October 5, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Dave PRP KY

    To the one who said Health Care was denied to millions of children by Mr. Bush, I would like to know the contents of the bill. Have you read the document? Do you know specifically why one should vote for or against it? Just curious.

    October 5, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Lynn k Rimell

    About the lapel pin I don't think it is an issue since they
    are mostly made in CHINA so it isn't a true american
    flag it's just a pin that looks like a flag just like a window decal.

    October 5, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Sana Momin

    Matthew, I'm a Muslim and I'm a patriotic American too, and I LOVE wearing jewelry. But wearing a tacky looking made-in-taiwan pin doesn't make anyone more or less patriotic. If it goes with my clothes (say, a casual tee and jeans), I'll wear it, if it doesn't (say, on a formal ballgown – yeah, Muslims can wear those too – surprise surprise), I won't. IT'S WHAT YOUR HEART FEELS IS HOW YOU ARE. btw, if you check into any muslim literature instead of talking your mouth off, you will see that jewelery is allowed for men, women and kids in Islam. Except for men and boys it's preferred they wear silver not gold, because it's too ostentatious. But all ages of girls and women can wear however much they want in all fashions. AND it's preferred that Muslims wear real jewelry – like silver gold precious stones etc – than costume jewelry made with steel and iron and brass, because that is the jewelry people will be wearing in Hell (probably more conducive to heat). Thats why God – yeah, Allah – gave us precious metals and stones in the first place – for jewelry and other uses to help man AND womankind! It's called logic – which also is a big part of Islam. BTW, Barack Obama has never said he's Muslim, just because his father was, why do you assume he himself is? Another excuse to label a "black" man (who incidentally also doesn't call himself black – though he is really half of both races, isn't he?) trying to do some good? Let's see if CNN publishes this!

    October 5, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Patrick, Tampa, FL

    I don't think Barack got the memo. Fifteen pieces of flair is the minimum.

    Wearing a pin won't bring the soldiers home any more than a pink ribbon will cure breast cancer.

    Rent the movie "Office Space" if you don't get the flair reference.

    October 5, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Mark Finkle, Miami, Florida

    ALWAYS displaying your flag, whether in the form of a pin or anything else, simply shows how you feel about America. It should never be based on what others think about the flag, or how others use it. Obama is a lousy politician without any experience. Atleast he could of lied and said he had an even bigger pin being made and he was simply waiting for it. Does Obama even care?

    Oh and what's with the ridiculous posts by Brian H. Highland Park, NJ and Lance in Monrovia CA? If you can't get to the point in a few sentences then you just aren't going to get there... unnecessary fluff intended to rouse sentiment? Coordinate much?

    October 5, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Doney LaRive--Bellville, Texas

    What: And he wants to be president–I think not,{no way, no how!!}

    October 5, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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