Obama Hits Wrong Note with National Anthem

Of all the presidential candidates to make their feelings known about symbolic expressions of patriotism like flag lapel pins and the National Anthem, none has been more candid than Sen. Barack Obama -- hands down.

In early October, Obama told a TV reporter in Iowa that he had made a conscious decision to stop wearing a flag pin on his lapel, a standard fashion accessory for American politicians since 9/11.

"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, 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."

Obama's explanation impressed people who are sick of empty patriotic gestures like leaving a "These Colors Don't Run" bumper sticker on your SUV for so long that it fades. But his decision to make this reasoning public doesn't make sense at all.

Faded These Colors Don't Run bumper sticker

Nothing good can come from being a presidential candidate who explicitly refuses to wear an American flag. It's a discussion you lose just by having, like holding a press conference to declare that you are so not gay.

Yesterday, Obama chose to defend a photo where he's shown with his hand down during the singing of the national anthem at a campaign event in Iowa. (Some reports incorrectly claimed it was during the Pledge of Allegiance.)

"My grandfather taught me how to say the Pledge of Allegiance when I was 2," Obama told a reporter, expressing his annoyance. "During the Pledge of Allegiance you put your hand over your heart. During the national anthem you sing."

For starters, Obama's granddad was wrong. There are four rules you're expected to follow during the anthem, as anyone who attends a sports event knows: Remove your gimme cap, move your beer to your left hand, place your right hand over your heart and mumble the words. (There's one extra rule in Dallas: Yell the word "Stars!")

But with this issue, Obama has once again fed a discussion that gains him nothing and throws a bone to the Lee Atwater memorial wing of the GOP, which can't wait to define this guy in the minds of a public that hasn't formed a strong sense of him yet. While Americans are still getting to know Obama, they're being told that he won't wear a flag pin and doesn't cross his heart during the national anthem. And it's true!

Are there any other symbolic gestures that represent love of country that Obama can go on the record against? "God Bless America" is kind of egotistical! Mom's apple pie is loaded with carbs! The insertion of "Under God" in the pledge was a misunderstanding of what Abraham Lincoln meant! The wings on Captain America's head look stupid and do not confer the power of flight!


And in NC you are to yell "Start Your Engines!" at the end.

"And in NC you are to yell "Start Your Engines!" at the end."

This is funny in more ways than intended. It is the same expression of elitist disrespect for fellow Americans, that Obama demonstrates in sneering at those who actively respect the expressions of patriotism -- most Americans.

This sort of 'liberal' elitism is orders more disliked than any expressed against shows of patriotism ... and by those of whatever party they support in their love of country.

That's why the NASCAR pogrom has been set in motion -- to defame Southern Democratics who consider themselves patriots and their Republican counterparts. They are called 'traitors' by their own party because they refuse to subvert an American war to gain partisan votes for the 'gang'.

So, the anti-patriotic pogrom is failing, along with the one against NASCAR and Southern patriots ...

Perhaps, the Democratics should stick with the anti-Christian pogrom, eh? That one seems to gain a bit more popularity; when not burning children to death in displays of massive abuse of power. That way, Islam can gain more support from Democratics, on top of the efforts to lose a war, so that Democratics can win a domestic political victory.

I think the the vast majority of Americans, patriots, will overcome the misdirections and sneers about colors running ... when it is stickers and partisan subversions which fade, ultimately ...

Rogers: I totally disagree with you here, which is rare (I read your blog too frequently). I am no Obama fan, but I think the best thing he's done is to speak out against empty patriotism. Frankly, I think he should get up in public and burn a flag as a symbolic expression of the patriotic right to free speech.

I regularly risk an ass-kicking by remaining seated during the Nat'l Anthem at sports events, as I will do tonight.

"I regularly risk an ass-kicking by remaining seated during the Nat'l Anthem at sports events, as I will do tonight."

You are so brave! What a hero!

However, you can testify to the fact that most Americans respect such patriotic displays, and with so many of them actually thankful that they live in such a wonderful country ... not some closet space in Tokyo, or the park in Amsterdam ...

Astro clearly works for Hillary, but I have to ask: what is the message you hope to send by not standing, and to whom is it addressed?

I actually did stand for the Anthem, at the Blazers vs. Grizzlies game tonight. I didn't put my hand over my heart, and I hadn't worn a hat. It was psychedelically nuts, the way that they had Patriotic, mostly flag, imagery running around the arena on a zillion watts of hi-tech screens. During the Nat'l Anthem, I mean.

Whatever, it was an awesome game, we won, and fans were more excited than I'd seen them here in the last couple of years.

Uncle Mikey: I think Hillary is unelectable. Plus, I can't stand her.

Tadowe: Touch, yeah I wasn't trying to be a tough guy. And like I said above, I did stand for the anthem today.

I grew up in Alaska, gang. I'm not some unpatriotic fool, I'm just super critical of allegiances to exploitable symbols like flags and anthems, period.

Astro says, "I grew up in Alaska, gang. I'm not some unpatriotic fool, I'm just super critical of allegiances to exploitable symbols like flags and anthems, period."

In a way, it is similar to those who believe that argumentation is impolite, even aggressive and take the opportunity when presented to castigate others for their disputations. They just don't get it -- that they are as equally guilty of being argumentative and aggressive, as well as being impolite and disruptive.

The religious and atheist are flip sides to the same coin, as are patriots and anti-patriots, among thousands of other examples. It is human nature; both to have these *beliefs* and to present their various faiths in opposition to the other.

I don't care for ceremonies or parades. Not because of any psychological manipulation of symbols which take place; like some giant psoter in red, white, and blue and a gigantic "D N C" emblazoned across it in bold letters; but because they are a waste of time. But, I'll bet your heart soars when the cheering and enthusiasm for the party's nominee when they speak. I'm sure you feel the same sense of wasting time when it is all about a gigantic "R N C" which is substituted.

You can respect your party and your gang leader, or whatever else you allow to move you symbolically, but you can't respect your country; the finest nation and most free with liberty and justice for as many as we possibly can provide ...

That's a shame, and unfortunately, hypocritical and since you allow the manipulation to take place in hundreds of other ways with the same results: you are moved emotionally ...

the NASCAR pogrom

Jesus, Tad. Exagerate much?

Be Well.

Well, of course it is all part of the same Pogrom, isn't it? Christians and NASCAR types are considered more or less equivalent, aren't they? So, you are correct -- I have exaggerated a mite.

Still, that can't dismiss that it is a tactic to attack and destroy the culture mentioned in this concerted political pogrom; if not the death of those persons ... Why don't you try showing why that isn't a fact, rather than making me your subject to mock?

Obviously, one must be eternally vigilant to prevent the destruction of that central aspect of Southern culture: The belief that driving fast counts as a sport.

Bo says, "Obviously, one must be eternally vigilant to prevent the destruction of that central aspect of Southern culture: The belief that driving fast counts as a sport."

Do they have hooked noses and drink Democratic's baby's blood in their arcane rights, too ... ?

The 'conservative' entry, if you will, was quite well written..sans, of course some sad comment regarding burning children (?) Regardless, curious to your thoughts on the following:

My Father (coincidently, a former U.S. Marine who dropped out of college to enlist for Vietnam- then returned for his degree) never stands for the 'anthem' or the 'pledge.' His logic? He is Indigenous to this country- i.e. his/our people were here prior to the concept of 'America,' therefore he reserves the right whether or not to observe traditions that came from people espousing "freedom" yet who then enslaved people, committed genocide and subjagated (sp?) women. None of whom would have rights supposedly guarenteed by the concept of 'America' had they not shed blood, sweat and tears to get them.

Your thoughts?



* 170. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner.
* 171. Conduct during playing.
* 172. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery.
* 173. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition.
* 174. Time and occasions for display.
* 175. Position and manner of display.
* 176. Respect for flag.
* 177. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag.

170. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner
The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled Banner is designated the national anthem of the United States of America.

171. Conduct during playing
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.

172. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.', should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.


Yea ... that was it is, is all just symbolism most of what we experience is supported by some sort of symbolic interpretation or representation of a higher or more intrinsic reality. The ring on your left hand is symbolic, the ring itself for the most part is meaningless, holds no real value (no matter what you paid for it, you ain't gonna sell it = no value) So we can certainly ignore or not acknowledge all these types of "things" like symbolism and only focus on fact and truth ... with a peppering of reality - I say we start with HOPE and then go from there ... .

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche quote - Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.

Or ... maybe we can accept the fact that these symbols have deeper meaning, and should at least be treated with some level of respect, even if we may not agree with or understand that meaning. I always find it interesting those that speak to tolerance and inclusion are the most intolerable and exclusive in their actions and speech.

A couple of points.
1. The leader of the United States stands as a representative to the rest of the world. What kind of message does it send when a presidential candidate disregards (ie; IMHO doesn't respect,) nor follows the code for actions during the pledge or National Anthem. It says, in the code, that the President can amend the rules. Would Obama amend/delete this affirmation of what it is to be an American?

2. Patriotism is part of the glue that holds America together. As an American veteran, the product of six generations of veterans and mother to one, it bothers me to see the lack of respect shown to the flag which stands for our country. It bothers me to see/hear people not caring, because it is all part and parcel of the 'package' that is part of being an American. You work for what you have. Sometimes you have to deep deep and work even harder. Life is a gift; what you make of it is not. No matter how bad it may sometimes seem, the worst off person living in the worst conditions over here has it far better than those in many other countries. Our freedoms are important because of the blood and tears, heart and souls that have gone into bringing them about, and are something that must be constantly reaffirmed and worked for and, dare I say it, earned.

Folks love to complain and cast blame everywhere but on themselves. It is a shame, really. Because, bottom line...there are no easy fixes--never have been, never will be.

k this has nothing to do with this but if obama wins the election the stock market will crash no doubt and when that happens war and chaos will break out obama is the anti Christ hes racist he is anti American he didn't even attend the pledge of allegiance until six months ago and didn't even wear a American flag on his shirt till 6 months ago he is just a disgrace don't vote for obama!! GO MCCAIN HE WILL LEAD US!

I think it's sad that there are so many self-righteous biggots who think they know a man based on one event. In fact, if he was in fact Muslim, he did exactly what he was supposed to do during the national anthem. He did not turn his back, he stood there respectively. I could see outrage if he was talking on his cellphone or something. Here's a video of him saying the pledge at a senate meeting. If your not too lazy, there are others available if you'd like to search for them.

Anyways, he wasn't sworn in on the koran, Keith Ellison was. Ellison is documented as the first muslim sworn in to US Congress - taking office in Jan of 2007 - LOOK IT UP ! Obama has been there since January 2005. PLEASE GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT FROM OFFICIAL WEBSITES INSTEAD OF EMAILS FROM YOUR GOOD OLE COUSIN BOBBY JOE! If Obama has been there two years more than Ellison, then why is Ellison known as the first Muslim in the US Congress? Congress is both the House of Representatives AND Senate, right? Don't be sold on hate.

Where was Obama married? October 3, 1992 by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. at Trinity United CHURCH OF CHRIST in Chicago, Illinois. A CHRISTIAN CHURCH, not a mosque ! THAT'S IN 1992. Several years away from the presidential election. Far too long to say, I want to trick everyone in this country into thinking I'm not a Muslim. He's been going to the same church for 20 years, until recently.

More importantly, do you know the reason people started coming to this country in the first place? RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Ring a bell? It's hilarious to watch you so called "christians" judge others based on their skin, heritage, or religion. You are so quick to point your fingers, criticize, and selectively judge others.

As for disrespect to the flag... here's something from your flag code addressing wearing the flag as apparel and disrespect for the flag:

176. 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.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(d) 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.

901. Service flag and service lapel button:
(B) Individuals Entitled To Display Service Lapel Button." A service lapel button approved by the Secretary may be worn by members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
Check out this picture of George Bush and wife standing on the flag at Ground Zero on Sept 11, 2006.


So, if you "Texans" are going to point your fingers, do not do it in a selective manner. If you're gonna do it, do it right. As for me, taking one little even and turning it into slander is ridiculous.... as for the pic of Bush standing on the flag ONE TIME, who cares ! ! ! As for one even where Obama did not have his hand on his heart during the national anthem ONE TIME, who cares ! ! ! Did you, or anyone, hear the words come out of his mouth that he "refuses" to cross his heart, or do you assume that? Go to any sporting even and watch people... see how many people actually cross their hearts. If they don't, does that make them any less of an American? People are allowed to have different beliefs.... that's why we are AMERICA.

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