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Few lapel pins have caused more controversy than the standard American flag pin. You might wonder how something as small as a lapel pin could cause major controversy. Yet the American flag pin has been in the news a number of times in recent years.
Lapel pins are popular among many people. Many businesses include them on a uniform, and military officers wear pins to denote rank or special achievements. Many people choose to express their patriotism by wearing flag pins. In the 1960s and 70s, many U.S. politicians began wearing an American flag lapel pin at official events and television appearances. From then on, the pin became an unofficial tradition.
Some television reporters had their patriotism questioned in 2001, for declining to wear American flag pins on-air in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Reporters responded that the pin was inappropriate for their role, and after some time, the controversy settled down.
In the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election, President Obama caused a bit of controversy by choosing not to wear a flag pin. Citizens and news outlets alike questioned the reasoning behind his decision, even bringing it up at a nationally televised debate. Obama said the reason he chose not to wear the pin was because he noticed "people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic."
Some news outlets used the flag flap to claim Obama wasn’t a true American, or was unpatriotic. Eventually, the controversy surrounding the pin subsided, and President Obama usually wore a lapel pin when appearing in public for the remainder of his presidency.
No matter how one feels about the whole debate, there’s no denying the popularity of the American flag lapel pin. Wearing a flag pin is a simple way to add a bit of pride to any outfit, and the pins are sure to be a part of the American wardrobe for years to come.