In a story reporting that Obama “fiercely” defended his patriotism in his Independence, Missouri speech yesterday, Washington Post reporters Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear write:
[Obama] has repeatedly been forced to address false rumors that he will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance, place his hand over his heart during the national anthem or wear an American-flag pin on his lapel. He wore a flag pin for Monday’s speech.
I keep seeing the flag-pin issue included among the alleged falsehoods about Obama. But didn’t he, in fact, actively refuse to wear a flag pin? And didn’t he have a specific reason for not doing it? Like this:
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 going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.
Later, without much explanation, Obama decided to wear the pin and claimed that he had never really been against it. But is it accurate to include the flag-pin issue among the “false rumors” about Obama without saying what actually happened?