Will Obama supporters break the law in the latest flag flap to hit the campaign?
Barack Obama and flaps over flags are nothing new. It seems every so often he or his campaign do something ignorant and then try to explain it away. Very rarely they are proven correct. Most often, however, they just look like anti-Americans. One has to wonder, “At what point do I stop believing this is all an accidental kerfluffle and begin to see a pattern?” Bear Creek Ledger tipped me off to the latest one, but first a bit of history.
It started back in October of 2007 when a reporter asked Obama why he didn’t wear a flag pin in his lapel like other candidates. Obama’s response, including a lame definition of patriotism if there ever was one, was less than enthusiastically received by millions across the nation.
A month later came the “hand over the heart” brouhaha at a Tom Harkin event in Iowa. Widely, and incorrectly, reported to show Barack Obama without his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, Americans were outraged that a Presidential candidate would not put hand over heart for the Pledge. Obama is quoted by ABC News dismissing his critics saying,
“This was not during the pledge of allegiance,” Obama said of the picture taken at Senator Tom Harkin’s, D-Iowa, annual steak fry and first published by Time. “A woman was singing the Star Spangled Banner when that picture was taken.
See the original photo by clicking here.
“I was taught by my grandfather that you put your hand over your heart during the pledge, but during the Star Spangled Banner, you sing!” Obama said.
Obama called the circulation of such pictures a “dirty trick” …
“I have been pledging allegiance since I was a kid,” Obama said.
Obama advised his supporters who receive such emails to ignore them.
“Just tell whoever sent it,” Obama told the crowd, “they’re misinformed.”
Unfortunately, it is Barack Obama who is misinformed. His actions did constitute disrespect for our flag. Hello! The title of the national anthem is, “The Star Spangled Banner”, after all. Here are the lyrics. Additionally, Cornell University Law School notes United States Code Title 36 §301states in section (b)(1)(A), “During rendition of the national anthem … all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;”
The flap over the removal of the flag from the tail of Obama’s plane after a new paint job before flying to Europe is the only event that doesn’t seem to have held up under scrutiny. Fight the Smears got one right in pointing out that neither Obama or McCain displayed a flag on the tail of their respective aircraft. Each, however, did have one displayed on the fuselage. It was widely reported, including by me here at BCM, that Obama removed the flag from his plane. I both regret and have corrected the error.
Next up, the DNC. Who can forget the story of thousands of US flags in trash bags to be thrown away? Some argue the flags were being saved for donation or reuse. In a weird twist, this is possibly worse than the initial disprespect. Consider the specifics of how our flag is to be displayed, raised, lowered and stored. Is anyone else gobsmacked that Democrats would defend stuffing flags in trash bags and leaving them on the ground near dumpsters saying they did it, not to dispose of them but to store them?
Which brings us to the latest flag follies. Michelle Malkin is reporting that there’s a new flag being flown in the NorthEast by some Obama supporters. It is unclear if the flag in question was commissioned by the Obama campaign or others. What is clear is that it is a plainly inappropriate use of the flag. As Malkin reports, the US Flag Code states, “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.” But, as with other flag desecration, it will likely be dismissed by Obama supporters as “just a piece of cloth” and nothing really meaningful.
The real gem is found if one scrolls a little further down the page to the listing of “United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3.” There we find any Obama supporters carrying such a flag in DC to the inauguration will be committing a misdemeanor punishable by up to $100 in fines and up to 30 days in jail! Too bad I can’t attend the inauguration with my camera and a cell phone to report crimes in the process of being committed. My guess is there will be plenty.
Unless it’s too harsh to ask Obama, his campaign and his supporters to abide by the law and long standing custom, that is. If I am misinformed and this is yet another instance of my ignorance, I’m sure someone out there will let me know.