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#1
Old 02-28-2008, 07:28 AM
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Who Was The First President To Wear A Flag Lapel Pin?

The title more or less says it all. Some from the right are criticizing Obama for not wearing a flag lapel pin. I don't want to discuss the merits of wearing or not wearing, I just want to know which president was the first to do so? Again, this is not a political discussion, just a factual one.

I had always assumed that Reagan started the custom, but I've heard other people say that W was the first. I suppose if someone has a link to a picture of Reagan wearing such a pin, that would settle it. But then maybe someone before Reagan did. Maybe Carter. Maybe Ford. Or Nixon...... So- what is the Straight Dope?
#2
Old 02-28-2008, 07:39 AM
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Nixon did it by 1973. I have to run to work, so no time to type a long cite, which I got from searching newspapers. I have no doubt I can find earlier.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:41 AM
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Also, a quick reading of that editorial indicates that it was popularized in 1968 by "hard hats." You might try searching there.
#4
Old 02-28-2008, 07:59 AM
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If the photo in this site is legit, you are correct and Nixon did indeed wear one. So that would be it unless LBJ or earlier wore one.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:44 AM
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Nixon wore one as early as 1970. (note left lapel.)
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#6
Old 02-28-2008, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
If the photo in this site is legit, you are correct and Nixon did indeed wear one. So that would be it unless LBJ or earlier wore one.
Wow. That's an amazing link.

It's to a site called "NewsBusters: Exposing and Combatting Liberal Media Bias" - so I guess they deserve some credit for not hiding where they're coming from.

The writer, Scott Whitlock, is talking about an ABC news story in which David Wright discussed Obama's decison not to wear a flag pin. Wright said "Ike didn't wear one. JFK either. Nixon did wear the flag as he told the American people he had nothing to do with Watergate."

And what's Whitlock's rebuttal? Wright doesn't wear a flag pin.

No seriously, that was it. Whitlock says that Wright doesn't wear a flag pin. Neither do other ABC reporters. Thereby proving ... well actually, I don't see what that proves. But Whitlock seems to feel he's made a point.
#7
Old 02-28-2008, 01:19 PM
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I am shocked and dismayed that John McCain is not wearing an American flag hat. And he calls himself a patriot!
#8
Old 02-28-2008, 01:44 PM
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This is so silly. Patriotism is what is in your heart, not what's on your lapel. A two-dollar potmetal pin doesn't mean a thing.
#9
Old 02-28-2008, 03:43 PM
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I don't remember ever seeing LBJ wearing a pin, but I do remember seeing Nixon. It didn't have anything to do with Watergate, more a "antiwar people are unpatriotic" thing.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:49 PM
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I've never seen a picture of any President before Nixon wearing an American flag lapel pin. LBJ would sometimes wear the lapel pin for the Silver Star he was awarded (for less than heroic action) during WWII, and Harry Truman would often wear his Masonic pin, but I don't recall any other Presidents routinely wearing any kind of lapel pin.

I occasionally wear lapel pins, and more often than not it's an American flag (often the Ft. Sumter flag, for the Civil War roundtable of which I'm a member). But to say someone is unpatriotic because they don't wear such a pin is just silly. It's a free country - wear, or don't wear, any pin you want. AskNott has it right.
#11
Old 02-28-2008, 05:19 PM
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Thanks, Elendil's Heir, for agreeing with me, but it was a mistake for me to post it here. General Questions is for factual answers, and my post was purely opinion. I still stand by that opinion, but I shouldn't have posted it in this forum. Is that too OCD? Maybe it is.
#12
Old 02-29-2008, 01:39 AM
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FWIW, we forgive you.
#13
Old 02-29-2008, 04:58 AM
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Over here (UK) where flag brandishing is only deemed appropriate at football matches and royal weddings, we find it quite amusing that the President would wear a flag pin - like we need reminding which side he's on??

Last edited by SanVito; 02-29-2008 at 04:59 AM. Reason: FlaG! I have no idea what a flap pin is, but it sounds interesting
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