Friday, October 05, 2007

Does a Flag Pin Make You Patriotic?


(AP Photo by Charlie Neibergall)

When Did Obama Stop Wearing a Flag Pin?

by John McCormick

WATERLOO, Iowa – Wearing a white shirt, with his sleeves rolled up, there was no place for a lapel pin, as Sen. Barack Obama spoke to several hundred here this afternoon.

Still, reporters were straining to look at the Illinois Democrat's clothing, after a local television interview Wednesday revealed Obama does not wear an American flag pin on his lapel, as has become tradition for many politicians since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The interview was done by KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The question and answer, according to a transcript provided by the campaign:

Reporter: “One last quick question, and this is just kind of a lighter note, you don’t have an American flag pin on, is this a fashion statement? Those have been on politicians since September 12, 2001?”

Obama: “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin. 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 I’m gonna’ try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”


Excellent answer, Barack, to a question that's phrased like that stupid, hackneyed question "Mr. _______, when did you stop beating your wife?"



Hoto said...

i like the flag pin. in germany the people won`t do that. maybe out of history resons.

the teach said...

hoto, I like the flag pin also. But any outward sign of patriotism is considered by the Democrats, Liberals, Progressives to be showing off your patriotism.

Like Obama I believe actions speak louder than icons.

Having said that, I have a yellow ribbon that says "Support our troops" on the trunk of my car because my nephew served in Iraq. I had to keep explaining why I had it there to my liberal friends.:)

AnimeFreak40K said...

Oh good GOD please tell me that this is a JOKE!

Ok, first off, I agree with Barrak here. It is deeds, not words and icons that determine ones patriotisim. I have seen far, FAR too many people waving flags and talking about this or that...but when it actually comes to acting, or when their motives are more clear, they fall painfully short of the mark.

Waving or wearing a flag does not make you patriotic. Nor does not doing so make you unpatriotic.

Questioning your government, enforcing the laws and rules is patriotic.

Encouraging the growth of your nation is patriotic.

Standing up against adversity - regardless of its face is patriotic.

Doing none of the above is unpatriotic.

You do not need to wrap yourself in a flag or other symbol to show where you stand, or your colors. You simply need to act accordingly to what it is you stand for.

Just like this whole "Support The Troops." thing. Some people are just so fucking STUPID (excuse my language, but it is that whole low-idiocy tolerance that is kicking in) to somehow think that 'being agaisnt the war' somehow makes you unpatriotic or lacking support for our fighting men and women.

It pisses me off to absolutly NO end to hear people spout such utter, complete bullshit as "If you do not support the war, then you are unpatriotic and are not supportive of our troops" or anything remotely like that. How blind and utterly devoid of any intelligence can you be to actually buy into that crap?

What I think is even more disturbing is that the same assholes that spout that crap from their disease ridden puke-holes somehow, magically never served in the military themselves. Nor do they have children that are able to serve, or, somehow, have managed to arrange that their children never will.

Way to go upper-class! Way to have everyone else do your dirty work for you so you can reap the rewards!

...yeah... I am more than a little pissed off about this sort of thing.

That said, and with all irritation and sarcasim aside; bravo Barrak Obama. Bravo!

the teach said...

Yeah I was gonna say, Anime, boy you're raging! But I can understand because you've been there as has my nephew and everybody else CANNOT have any idea what it's like in a war zone. And yes all those politicians don't have their sons and daughters serving.

I do think that I shouldn't have to explain to my liberal friens why I have a support the troops ribbon. I also object to people thinking that I'm not in support of our troops even though I am against the war.

I can't stand when Rush Limbaugh and his ilk say that we (who are against the war and say so) are undermining the soldiers over there in Iraq. What are they (the soldiers) stupid? No! They know that our democracy allows protest. Protesting doesn't make us unpatriotic or not support the men/women who put themselves in harms way!! Now you have me angry!!

AnimeFreak40K said...

I did not mind serving. I was happy to do it. If I had it to do over again, I would not change anything...well...I would, but that would only be the field I went into. I would have not gone into Armor and went straight into IT, but that is something else entirely.

It just makes me sick, that the same people who stand up and scream "you are unpatriotic" for not supporting the war are the same folks that not only do not have anyone close to them serving, but have taken steps to prevent that from happening.

It angers me that you have people saying that "protesting is unpatriotic" when that is the EXACT definition of patriotisim! Protesting the war, or anything for that matter, is a show of patriotisim and it is also a show of supporting our military. Why? Because countless men and women have fought, bled and died for your right to do exactly that. If you refuse to stand up and question what your government says and/or for what you believe in, then you are making their sacrifices in vain.

I am sorry for making you angry as well, but stuff like this is a sore spot for me. I do not like blind patriotisim, political idocy or just stupidity in general. And the more I look around me, the more I see it.

I hate it

It upsets me enough that I would willingly just pack up and leave the country. I would rather be surrounded by people who are intelligent and educated and aware of thier surroundings outside of their little bubbles of reality than what we have going on now in this country.

I guess with some of the presidential stuff, personal issues, and all that sort of thing going on, I am on edge and irritable than usual. Sorry for getting all ranty on your Blog.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe someone as astute as Obama would miss how important patriotism is in winning an election. It's high time the Democratic party stopped being afraid of the flag. We have to become the party of flag wavers, not the party of flag burners.

Because that's what we became in the 1960s when we did not speak out about flag burning among our fellow leftists. By not doing so, we allowed the right-wing to hijack our country's flag. And don't think the Republicans didn't figure this out about 10 seconds after the ashes cooled on the first flag ever burned. People who don't support their country and their country's flag look like idiots, not progressives. They look weak, not strong. They look like they can be bullied. They can be.

Immigrants certainly love the flag of their former country. Our Mexican immigrants, who leave Mexico because they can't find work at a living wage there, wave their Mexican flag at every opportunity, have decals of it on their cars, etc. They love their country but hate their government. They seem to get it.

This has gone on long enough. It's time we Democrats realized that swing voters win elections, not registered members of political parties. And swing voters and other undecided voters aren't usually radicals; they want someone who they're comfortable with. And they'll never ever be comfortable with someone who doesn't like to be associated with the flag of his nation. Who doesn't want to wear a flag pin every day. Who is afraid what other people will think when he wears it. And that person wants to be President? Who would vote for him/her?

A Leftist Berkeley, California Obama Supporter

AnimeFreak40K said...


Why is it that the people I want to tear into are always "Anonymous"? Geeze...this Anonymous character has GOT to get around or something...


Anynymous, I think it is YOU who are the one who does not "Get It". If you had paid close attention to Obama's reply to the question, you would realize that he stated that he was patriotic, but he did not need a pin or to wave a flag to show it.

And you know what? You don't. It is DEEDS and ACTIONS taken, not words, that prove one's patriotism. Any idiot can pick up a flag and wave it around. It takes a patriot to question what is going on, to criticize actions taken by the norm and the government.

I am a Soldier, although I ended my tour of duty at the end of 2005, I still feel that that is something I will always be. It bothers me to absolutly NO end to know that a United States flag has been burned. No matter who burns it, it hurts me.

However, if it is a US citizen, that is their RIGHT to protest the United States Government, as the flag is a symbol of the government. Friends of mine have fought, bled and died for those people to behave in such a way...but it is their right to do it. If it is someone in another country that burns our flag, it still hurts me, but again, that is their right to do it, as they are shouting out at the symbol of our nation. They are showing how they are angry with us and/or hate us for whatever reason. Again, that is their right.

I don not even know why this is an issue right now frankly. This is 2007. Not the 1960's.

People who protest the government and any establishment for that matter can be organized. In fact, it was through the organization of such people that we were able to have this country in the first place. Yes. Our forefathers were protesters and activists. They did not wave any flags though. They went out and fought, bled and died for what they believed in. They attempted diplomacy and negotiated with the British Empire, but that failed. The British said the same thigns as you are saying did British sympathizers. Guess what? Protesting and criticisim does not mean disorganization!

The very basis of this country was founded on the RIGHT to protest. The RIGHT to be critical of the government and the RIGHT to speak out against it's officals and actions! How DARE you suggest that doing so is unpatriotic!!!

Now, you want to talk about Immigrants? That is something else I can climb onto a soapbox for if you want. My grandfather escaped from a small, realitivly unknown slavic country called Bulgaria duirng the outbreak of WWII, before the United States got involved. He ran and escaped from the communists that took over, and the Nazis that threatened his life to end up in the United States. He loved this country! He became a citizen of this country, and although he was a native Bulgarian, he was PROUD to be an American.

Anybody who comes into this country illegaly does NOT belong here regardless of the reasons why they came. There are legal processes that will bring them into the fold of being an American citizen as well as allow them to reside and work here legally. Those that violate those laws do NOT belong here and should be cast out regardless of gender, age, religion, creed history or any other factor. There are people waiting in line to do it right, there is no reason why they should be allowed to cut ahead and break those rules.

Those people that reside here as legal residents who wave the flags of thier home nations possess every right to do so. However, I must question WHY they do it. After all, if they love their country so much, why are they here? Like I said, my grandfather was from Bulgaria and he loved his home country, but never once did he EVER raise his nations flag in this country, much less rais that flag over our own!

Those people that run around with the decals of their country, showing their loyalties to those other lands do not seem to get it at all. How could they? If they did, they would not be doing what they are doing. Obviously they did not work or earn their right to be here, otherwise they would respect it a LOT more than they do.

You are correct in one point: these elecitons are not won by the registered members, the fanatical members or those who simply "vote all for Party X". It is won by the independants, those who are moderate and have an idea of what they want in a leader.

Both parties get that fact though. This is why they try to pander more towards the moderates, as they know they have won the loyalists. This is why the Democrats don't try to sway the hard-lined Republicans and vice-verse. They know they can't win those people over.

However, just because Obama does not wish to wear the lapel pin does not mean he is disassociating himself from the flag or the symbolisim it represents. He stated fairly plainly that the pin became a substitue for true patriotism. I agree with this statement. After all, like I said, any idiot can pick up a flag, put on a pin or slap a sticker to their car and chant "U S A! U S A!" But it takes a person with courage and determination to actually behave patrioticly. Obama does not need the pin to show his patriotisim, by telling the American people what he believes and ACTING on those beliefs in hopes of guiding this country into a better future says a whole HELL of a lot more than simply wearing a pin!

If you ask me, I would MUCH rather have someone who rejected wearing the pin and ACTED like a true patriot rather than someone who wore the pin and said things that people want to hear.

the teach said...

Anonymous,you say:
I can't believe someone as astute as Obama would miss how important patriotism is in winning an election. It's high time the Democratic party stopped being afraid of the flag. We have to become the party of flag wavers, not the party of flag burners.

I think Obama explained why he took off the pin...he said his actions speak louder than the pin. (I repeat myself). He is patriotic! I am patriotic (although I am a Democrat, a liberal, a progressive. ). We love our country but flag waving isn't the way we show it.

I don't think burning the flag is the right thing to do, but I understand the reasons for burning it. So many young men were dying they are today!!!

It's interesting you call yourself a leftist...not too many Democrats, liberals and progressives call themselves that. I certainly don't call myself a "leftist." Could you be a Rightie who's masquerading as a Democrat or liberal?

Oh, but, no, you are a Lefty, because you're from the Left coast, so you say.

Listen to my friend Anime whose comment is just above mine and directed to you.

the teach said...

Anime, I CAN'T agree with what you say: Those illegal immigrants]that violate those laws do NOT belong here and should be cast out...

AnimeFreak40K said...

"Anime, I CAN'T agree with what you say: Those illegal immigrants]that violate those laws do NOT belong here and should be cast out..."


That is how I feel about Illegial Immigrants. My grandfather came to this country the right way. More than just a few people I work with and have worked with have come to this country the right way as well.

I am not opposed to their presence, or why they are here. I am opposed to how they got here in the first place.

Perhaps I should say something like "They should be kicked out and get in line, just like everyone else".

Again, I support Legal Immigration...and crossing the borders illegally is, well...just that: illegal. They want to live here and be citizens, then they need to follow the laws, rules and procedures that were put in place to do it. They do that, then I will gladly welcome them like a brother.

the teach said...

Anime, answer me this: why doesn't Canada have a problem with illegal immigrants from the U.S. crossing the border? How come Canada isn't inundated with all these terrible illegal American immigrants looking for free this and free that while taking all the crappy jobs that middle class Canadians don't want? Huh?

AnimeFreak40K said...

In response to your questions:
I do not know if Canada DOES have problems with people from the US crossing their border. I know Americans do it frquently, but I do not know if these are legal crossings or not. I do not know the law, so I cannot make assumptions. If they are crossing legally, then there is no problems. If the crossings are illegal, then they need a swift boot to the hind end back to where they belong (here)

Canada doesn't have problems with Illegal American Aliens coming to their country looking for free stuff because the free stuff Canada has is not as good as our free stuff. And the crappy middle-class Canadian jobs that Canadians don't want are the same crappy American jobs Americans don't want.

And the ONLY reason why they are crappy is because Americans seem to have this sense of entitlement in that "I am too good to do this job". Bullshit. It is honest labor that pays reasonably.

So, Canada doesn't have the problem with Americans crossing illegally because either Americans don't do it, or it is not illegal. Canada's free stuff is not as good as our free stuff. And nobody wants to do those crappy middle-class jobs.

It should also be noted that Americans are also partially to blame for this situation because they DEMAND that certain goods and services be cheap. Therefore, companies have little choice to keep costs down. Americans will not do various jobs as cheaply as forigners will. I read in an article several weeks ago about a newspaper going on and pointing out how Americans would not harvest produce in California for anything less than $2,000 a week (basically $50 an hour), because it is above them AND the high cost of living in that part of the country. Does it excuse the behavior? HELL no. Are the pay rates too demanding? HELL yes!

But let's crank this example back a little bit. If the Americans were willing to work this for $2,000 every two weeks (about $25 an hour - more than what I make), given the cost of living and labor required this is a little reasonable. However, why pay Americans to do the work for $25 an hour when you can get Pedro to do it for $4.50?

Americans are unwilling to pay the higher prices incurred due to having Americans do certain things. American companies are unwilling to cut into their profits to cover American employees and try to keep the costs to consumers low. Legal immigrants are not as good as illegal ones, because you can pay illegal immigrants less than minimum wage and nobody knows. Legal immigrants are like Americans - they will want the better wage. Not necessarily on what an American would want, but more than what an illegal would ask for.

Now, let me ask you this Mary:
How would you feel if you were sitting at your home, watching TV, reading a book, or whatever it is that you do at home in your spare time, when suddenly, out of nowhere this person (age, gender, race and nationality is completely unimportant here), bursts in. This person goes around your home eating your food, using your electricity, water, resources, etc. This person DEMANDS that they be allowed to stay because it is their right to do so.

How would you feel? What would you do?

the teach said...

Here are the reasons illegal immigrants come to our country. They are taken right from your post:

Canada doesn't have problems with Illegal American Aliens coming to their country looking for free stuff because the free stuff Canada has is not as good as our free stuff

Americans seem to have this sense of entitlement in that "I am too good to do this job". Bullshit. It is honest labor that pays reasonably.

It should also be noted that Americans are also partially to blame for this situation because they DEMAND that certain goods and services be cheap. Therefore, companies have little choice to keep costs down.

Anime, all these reasons are why illegals are here and wanting to work and believe me you and I should be glad they do work...because they keep the economy going...

If illegals came into my house in the way you propose of course I wouldn't like it but it's hardly the same thing!!

But if they came into my house and started harvesting food for me to eat, building a house next door for them to move into, etc. (you know what I'm getting at) I wouldn't min d at all. This is silly because we have plenty of room in the country for people who work hard and expand our economy.

Sarge Charlie said...

Hi teach, having been to my blog you know where I am going to come down on this. Frankly it is a joke but in my opinion Barrak is also a joke. You have some long comments so I will be brief, I fly my flag daily and my actions will demonstrate my support for the armed forces. I do not need a pin on my chest nor does Barrak, but his actions do not speak as mine do.

AnimeFreak40K said...


I think you totally missed the point I was trying to make here Mary.

Maybe my point was lost in my ranting, I am not entirely let me try this again:

I do NOT mind that there are immigrants.

I am perfectly, honestly and truely fine with immigrants. Tony Blair (love him or hate him) said it best: "When you have more people trying to move into a country than are trying to move out, that tells you something about that country"

I am not so blind or arrogant to know that our entire nation wasbuilt on the backs of immigrants from as far back as the early 1700's and even earlier still.

When I start having problems, however, is when people enter the country illegally. That's it.

Those people want to move in, FINE! Wonderful! I wish them the best of luck! Heck, I would even give them English Lessons or something to help them out or show them around or something. I dunno...but I would be supportive of them...but ONLY IF they came here legally.

There are laws, rules and procedures that a person has to go through to enter this country as a resident. These exist for any country (however, enforcement is debatable - but that is beside the point). For example, I cannot just pick up and move to Canada just like I could pick up and move to the next city, or another state. I also cannot just walz right over the boarder and get a job in Canada either. Not legally at any rate. The same applies for England, Germany, Russia, Australia, Iran or wherever you want to throw a dart at on the map.

They have rules. They have laws and they have procedures that govern forigners coming into their country for residence, business or whatever. So do we.

Why is it ok for those rules, laws and procedures to be ignored? It isn't. It is that simple. It is NOT ok to ignore the laws, rules and procedures. Period.

Mary, by suggesting that it is permissible for forigeners to come into this country by NOT following the rules is no different than saying it is permissible for someone to break into your house and take your stuff. After all, they receive the benifits of the unemployed and underwaged and can send thier children to our schools, but they do not pay taxes to cover it. They are a drain on society and they are stealing from us.

By suggesting that it is permissible for forigeners to come into this country by not following the rules is also saying that it is permissible that they can just ignore any laws, rules and regulations that they see fit. After all, if it is permissible to ignore the laws and rules to get into this country, it is permisslbe to ignore any other laws as well...I mean, where do you draw the line?

I want to set the record straight here and now: I do not have problems with Immigrants coming into this country. I support LEGAL immigration.

Those people that have come here ILLEGALLY (that means that they BROKE THE LAW) to get into this country NEED to be treated like the criminals they are. I do not care WHY they came - the fact is, they did so and they broke the law.

If they did so out of desperation and/or ignorance, I can accept that as a reason. However, ignorance does not make someone immune to the law (try using that excuse next time you get a speeding ticket "I'm sorry officer, I didn't know it was illegal to go that fast"). That said, those folks should be removed face the minimum penalties for breaking the law(s) in question and then put at the back of the line.

I do not know how I can make it any more simple Mary:
Legal Immigration = Good.
Illegal Immigration = Bad.

the teach said...

I understand Anime. You don't like illegal immigrants here in our country. I don't think I ever suggested that I thought you were against legal immigrants but maybe I did. I'm sorry if I did. And this is another of those subjects that we've beaten to death, yes?

the teach said...

Sarge, I don't think anyone has to wear a flag pin, or fly a flag for that matter, but only if they want to. My nephew is in the Marines and served in Iraq and I have a yellow ribbon on the trunk of my car because I do support the troops even if I don't support the war.

One of the commentors on this blog, Animefreak40K served in the Army for quite a number of years and is a proud American.

I like Barack and if he says he wants to show his patriotism by his actions rather than wearing the pin who are we to tell him different?

But I'm always glad to hear from you, you know that, Sarge...

AnimeFreak40K said...

It's quite alright Mary.

I get a little irritated when I get the impression that my stance agaisnt illegal immigration is one that is against all immigration - that somehow people cannot tell the difference between the two.

And yes, yes this is one of those subjects I think you and I have succesfully beat into a somewhat pasty goo...

We need to find something else to beat up on now XD

AnimeFreak40K said...

This popped up on CNN today, figured you may want to take a look at it:

I read it over, and while I find Lou Dobbs' statemens generally appealing, mostly for their breath fo fresh air, I am not entirely certian that he gets least as far as Obama's reasoning for not wearing the pin and some of the criticisim it has received.

Anyway, just figured I would share this. Enjoy.

the teach said...

Thanks Anime, you're right Dobbs is not right when it comes to Obama. Quoting Dobbs:

"But any politician of any political party who believes their words can be an adequate substitute for the symbolic power of the American flag is sadly arrogant and horribly mistaken."

The flag IS a symbol and IT can't be a substitute for words or actions. You and I are both proud of the flag and I think I said somewhere that I would never burn the flag. But it is only a symbol and I think Dobbs is making too big a deal of wearing the lapel pin himself! But thanks for bringing that article to my attention, Anime.