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Saturday, October 06, 2007


Roberta Smith

Why is it that these people who removed their lapel pin or who are saying that there is something wrong with it - are afraid of taking a stand for ANYTHING?

I proudly wear the American Flag pin and it is NOT for any reason except that I am AMERICAN!

When so many are having trouble standing behind the fact that WE are Americans - I am proud to do so!!

I dont see the Iranians losing their symbols, or Spanish people burning their flags, or Indians hiding their nationality -- WHY would someone think that Americans should do so? ???

I am P-R-O-U-D to be an American and if I show my nationality by wearing a flag - so be it!! Let someone try to take my flag away from me!! Isnt that the whole pretense for the war to begin with??? If you are ashamed to wear that flag - then you dont deserve to be in this country!!

Roberta Smith

I think the real issue here is -- are you brave enough to take a stand? !!


Hey folks, let's focus on issues that are more substantial, like ending a needless war (that has only made our standing in the world even more tenuous, and generated endless more terrorists, rather than preventing the whole process), fixing the lack of health insurance for a large % of people in this country, saving a waning dollar, and generally focusing on the things that are so much more important than a silly discussion about who does or doesn't wear the pin.

I am certain that this story is partially being floated by people who want to distract us away from the repeated, flagrantly unacceptable behavior by the Republican party (i.e. the pin-wearers), the most recent being Sen. Clark's bathroom escapades. Was he wearing the pin, though? You bet! That must make him more of an American, therefore.

The interest on focusing on this sort of topic is what is making our country unable to deal with its biggest issues, like those listed above.


I think most people are missing the point on the issue of wearing the American flag lapel pin - there is a sense that the Bush Administration has turned it into a litmus test for people who meet their definition of 'patriotic;' namely, anyone who isn't against the Bush Administration policies, and if they are they must be un-American.

While it started as a symbolic gesture of solidarity after 9/11/01, it soon turned into an unspoken pledge for those in charge. Consider that this so-called debate over this so-called issue is right from the game-play book of the Neo-Cons in this Administration - get people arguing over something inane to avoid real debate on real issues that affect real people.

When it comes down to it, wearing it doesn't make you any more patriotic, and not wearing it doesn't make you any less patriotic - patriotism is determined by far more weighty actions than simply wearing a piece of jewelry.

Dennis Francis

I seem to remember during the flag burning hoopla, that the US Code states that the flag's image cannot be used in advertising, should not be worn on clothing (except for U.S. military uniforms).
I may be mistaken, you can check the code online.

The thing that bugs me about both the right wing who have co-oped my flag the way they've co-opted my religion, and the so-called left is the constant need to focus on symbols over substance.

Obama is taking a symbolic stance, a silly one in my opinion, but a symbolic stance none the less. The flag pin wearers are taking a symbolic stance as well. We are all United States of Americans. Can we get back to work keeping the U.S. Constitution whole and intact and defend it against all enemies both foreign and domestic now?
Thank you.


Actually, it's just not a question of patriotism. It's about United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1. Use of the flag as wearing apparel is strictly forbidden. I think a lapel pin falls squarely into this category. Patriots above all else should hold high the lawful display of the American Flag. Media is great in many regards, but the public's failure to educate themselves is a tremendous liability.

§8. Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

1. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
2. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
3. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
4. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.


Hey Fred, thanks for the comment. The section of the US Code you refer pertains to an actual US flag, not the *image* of a flag such as the lapel pins. What I was trying to say in this post is that we have important issues to discuss in the runup to the '08 elections, and the efficacy of flag lapel pins is not one of those important issues!


I am truly saddened by the small-mindedness of people questioning the patriotism, courage, bravery, and pride of individuals deciding NOT to wear the lapel pin. Do any of your truly believe that Barak Obama is ashamed of his country...truly?

This is petty nonsense to be certain, I feel like we are steps away from critizing public officials for not having America Experss Cards, using the Bank of America, flying US Airways or God forbid shopping at the Banana Republic instead of Old Navy.

Can we please, please stop talking about this.


The fact that there are so many up in arms about this particular non-issue bolsters my opinion that we as a nation are so easily distacted by silly nonsense. The fact that anyone would create a national crisis based upon the fact that a presidential candidate doesn't wear a US flag lapel pin tells me that they're trying to distract us from the real issues of lies and deception on their part.

Lou Dobbs says at the end of his article "I choose to wear that flag on my lapel because the nation it represents makes that choice possible."
Well, I choose to NOT wear it for exactly the same reason, because MY country says it's okay to have differing points of view. MY constitution says I have the freedom to express myself as I see appropriate, just so long as I don't harm anyone in doing so, and Barak Obama and me not wearing US flag pins harms nobody. Not wearing the flag makes me no less patriotic than anyone else, and does not say that I hate my country, nor does it say that I don't support our people fighting overseas, regardless of the fact that they're fighting a war that I completely and whole-heartedly disagree with. I AM an American, and I love my country. I hate the divisiveness that has been created by people like Limbaugh and Hannity and Dobbs, and especially by Bush and his cronies. Maybe when the Democratic party is back in full control will we see the true compassion for people on which this nation - and the constitution - is based.


It's a PIN.
It's a PIN.
It's a PIN.
It is NOT the flag.
It is NOT America.

If the country has truly gotten this wrapped up in jingoistic nationalism, then it's already too late for us. Anyone recall another country at war that was this caught up in symbolism? Think hard about it....

How about this? If it's such a huge deal, I challenge all the REAL patriots out there to not just settle for wearing one pin, but to wear 3 or more, so we can easily identify who should be running the country. I mean if trinkets are more powerful than words or actions now, it should be incredibly easy to choose our next president based on the number of flag pins he has on. C'mon candidates, let's make this happen!


I am glad that we measure patriotism by lapel pins and not by another means such as “flagged” underwear for example. I would hate it for the politicians to be judged by their underwear. They would have to wear their pants low like the inner city youth so we then could gauge the amount of their patriotism. So I support the lapel pins as a proof of our patriotism – it is better than the alternative.

Jingo Americanazi

Look y'all, if 'n them pins is becoming sech a problem, why not let's wear us some matching armbands instead? Go 'murica! Yeehaw!

B Mike

Arguing about Flags, lapel pins, changing the Constitution to protect the Flag - what a lot of nonsense. Our poeple, media and even our Legislators have no problem getting into a tizzy about about the Flag while doing essentially nothing about crime, drugs, the Iraq war and so forth. Deal with all those issues and then, and only then, we can deal with "cloth."

An Australian friend told me that when he, his wife and their two kids arrived in California for a month-long vacation, they noticed all the American Flags and decided it would be fun to count them. It took about five minutes for them to realize that flags were everywhere. Why is this so odd? Seems that in Australia (which certainly doesn't lack when it comes to patriotism) making a big deal about their flag is considered very odd or strange to say the least. I think they have the right idea. While I certainly would object to people who burn or desecrate our Flag, I think that those who go nuts over it are equally strange. The same goes for Flag lapel pins and so forth.


Christian Black

I quote: "There comes a point when something which was once a spontaneous act becomes empty symbolism. But since politics is by its very nature fraught with with insincerity and meaningless symbolic gestures frequently devoid of substance, no one who aspired to elected office dared remove the American flag from their lapel.

This past week, an alert ABC News reporter noticed Barack Obama wasn't wearing his flag lapel pin. When questioned about it, Obama told the reporter he felt the flag pins had lost their meaning. The Illinois Democrat said he feared the pins had become a 'substitute for true patriotism.'"

My Thoughts on This:

This basically sums up the beginning, the middle, and the end of this rediculous issue. FLAG PINS? Are you kidding me? Mr. Obama did what he did...doing what he has continued to do, ever since he decided to run for office: follow his heart, and be HIMSELF. You mean to tell me, that most Americans can NOT tell that this guy:

a) Actually KNOWS what he's talking about?
b) Actually cares about people and what they're going through?
c) Demonstrated that he's very aware of the current life most of us live?
d) Actually has many ideas and PLANS to DO something about it?

But, you know what? I'll tell you why he's not going to win. Because he's Black.
And he isn't an entrenched Washingtonian.

And he isn't a polished BS whiz..photo-op pro..or a glossed up promotional ad, done by the media ad agency lords on Madison Ave.

And he's not stuffed deep in the pockets of Corporate America.

This IS America, after all isn't it? The country we've lost control of, influence over, and defense against harmful elements/interests?

The country that has sold us down the river so many times in the past 40 years, double-crossed and lied to us, cheated us, and stole from us?

That IS America right? The country that wages a "war on drugs"..but doesn't fight for its own people's causes? Healthcare, fair wages, ending corporate welfare...Medicaid..Katrina victims (don't say anything denying they exist..I've SEEN them personally and talked to them..I assure you, they DO exist.)

An America more interested in building bigger prisons and hiring more guards, than building new schools and hiring more teachers..much less, pay them what they're actually worth?

An America with an incompetent at best..corrupt at worst infrastructure WITHIN its governmental base?

An America that has allowed OUR country to be literally overrun with illegal immigrants...to fatten the pockets of a handful of "special" constituents that put them in their swank DC offices?

What's my point? Take a VERY close, careful look at these clowns in Armani suits with American Flag Pins on their lapels. I'm not claiming every single one is guilty...but you can recognize these people, wearing this general "uniform"..in various colors, styles...and shapes, ages and sizes: A dapper, dandy little suit, with an American Flag Pin on the lapel of their tailored sportscoats.

THEY'RE the ones responsible for the conditions we, as Americans today...now face.

I applaud the statement that Senator Barack Obama has made. He's taking a stand, and basically makes gestures that indicate he's not part of the "wolf pack" that brings us annoying, superficial, maddeningly ignorant political ads during our Fall TV seasons.

-C. Black


The fact that this has been turned into such an issue, has me wondering what exactly it is they are trying to divert our attention away from. What is it they really don't want us to see?

Since when did a pin, or anything else that you put on for that matter, become a symbol of being American or Patriotic? Last I checked, it was our freedoms, liberties, diversity, tolerance and acceptance that made us Americans and Patriotic? Who says you cannot support the troops and still be against the war?

You want patriotism? Respect the constitution, protect the constitution and you'll be showing your patriotism. Unfortunately this administration does the complete opposite, as will the majority of those running now. Anyone willing to to take away your civil liberties arbitrarily under the guise of "war on terror" or "safety" is NOT patriotic in my book.

One of our forefathers said something along the lines of (I'm too busy right now to look it up) "those who would trade liberty for safety, will get neither" or something like that.

Then there's this: Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. John F. Kennedy

We are in serious trouble folks, and we need to wake up and start holding these people accountable to us (as in "WE THE PEOPLE"), since they are supposed to be representing us. I personally am embarrassed to no end with the picture these people are showing the world now. It's no wonder we are hated.

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