Senator Barack Obama’s idea of making a political statement: Refusing to wear the US flag pin

Numerous readers have emailed me (and GWR posted about it in Wednesday’s open thread) the story about Senator Barack Obama’s refusal to wear the US flag pin, as a way of making a political statement about his disagreement with the Bush administration’s policies. Via ABC News:

An eagle-eyed reporter for the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, noticed something missing from Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., lapels.

“You don’t have the American flag pin on. Is that a fashion statement?” the reporter asked, at the end of a brief interview with Obama on Wednesday. “Those have been on politicians since Sept. 12, 2001.”


Instead the Illinois senator answered the question at length, explaining that he no longer wears such a pin, at least in part, because of the Iraq War.

“You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin,” Obama said. “Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.

“Instead,” he said, “I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”


“I’m less concerned with what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart,” Obama said Thursday while campaigning in Independence, Iowa.

“You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who serve. And you show your patriotism by being true to your values and ideals. And that’s what we have to lead with, our values and ideals,” Obama said.

Not if those ideals include trending towards Socialism, which is exactly what the “top three” Dem candidates’ platforms do.

On the issue of the flag, this is not the first time I’ve heard about a liberal who refuses to either fly the flag or wear anything symbolizing the flag because they think it supposedly denotes approval of President Bush’s wartime policies. Frankly, I think the argument is a copout. My strong disagreements with President Clinton didn’t keep me from flying my flag. In fact, in the area I live in, flags have always flown high – no matter who was president. I’ll be damned if I let a president’s policies keep me from showing my support for my country. That flag symbolizes freedom, liberty, and strength and is not a symbol of the Republican or Democratic party. Jonah Goldberg is on the same wavelength:

I agree with Seth, Obama’s decision to scorn the flag is the single dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of him doing. Even if he thinks the flag pins are stupid, his response should be that he won’t let the right claim the flag, not to cede the flag to those he disagrees with.

The truth of the matter is that for the last 40 or so years, right around the time the “peace movement” started, liberals have been very reluctant to show anything that could be remotely construed as patriotism, because liberals believe that showing patriotism equates to projecting US power around the world, as Mark Steyn explained here in a 2006 article about John Kerry. Incidentally, that anti-“projection of power” opinion is a view also held by their pals in the MSM. Being the moral relativists that they are, Democrats would rather believe that the US was/is no better – and in some cases worse – than other countries.

Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not a politician wears the flag pin, but it does matter to me when one makes the conscious decision not to. It’s a strong indicator to me that the person choosing to make that sort of statement is one whose priorites are really messed up, not to mention it’s a sign of weakness because, as I noted earlier, anyone who is truly proud of their country won’t stop flying the flag and/or won’t stop wearing/displaying symbols of their patriotism just because they disagree with the policies of the current president. Purposely not displaying the flag as a symbol of defiance is not entirely unsimilar to liberals who want to run away to Canada when a Republican president gets elected and re-elected.

Senator Obama and other Democrats probably couldn’t wait to stop wearing those flag pins shortly after 9-11. They don’t want to look like imperalists, you see, and they certainly don’t want to look like they are proud of their country. The debate over the Iraq war was just an excuse for Senator Obama and other self-loathing Democrats like him to get back to business as usual.

Meanwhile, as Obama continues to stumble, Hillary’s poll numbers keep going up.

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