Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday Omphaloskepsis: Romney's flag pin

If you watched the presidential candidates' debate on Wednesday, you might have noticed a few things about the flag pins that were adorning each candidate's lapels.

1st, Romney had a larger flag pin. Not that this is so important, but it is to that mindless nationalism that exists out there.

2nd, Romney had a kind of blob on his flag pin. Based on a story about right wing outrage about how Obama was breaking the flag code, I wondered at the time if Romney would receive the same treatment for what appeared to be disrespect for the flag code - specifically the part that says:
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.
However, as photos from the Huffington Post show, the flag pin is sporting the emblem of the Secret Service:

The flag code doesn't - itself - say whether this is technically "allowed" or whether it is technically "disrespectful". The closest that I can find is:
No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
Still, although there is no mention of putting an agency's emblem on the flag, poking around the Google searches, I haven't found any branch of the military nor any of a half-dozen civilian agencies that actually have their emblems super-imposed on the flag. However, the lapel pin with the US Secret Service (USSS) emblem does keep showing up.

Beyond the question of whether it's a flag code violation, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been spotted sporting these pins before, and I have to agree with Pied Type when they say:
Can Romney and Ryan not remember to bring their own pins? Do they maintain pin collections and choose a “pin du jour” appropriate for that day’s audience? As I’ve asked before, since when is a simple, unadorned USA flag pin not good enough?

And yes, I object to the Secret Service pin, too. Wear the flag. Wear a Secret Service emblem. One or the other. Both or neither. But please don’t stick the SS emblem on the flag.

And don’t wear a Secret Service pin if you’re not in the Secret Service.

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